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Fergus Falls man pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of 6-year-old boy

Walter Wynhoff1 / 3
Justis Rae Burland2 / 3
Bobbie Bishop 3 / 3

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Walter Wynhoff, one of two people accused in the death of a 6-year-old boy, pleaded guilty Friday, March 1, to a felony count of second-degree manslaughter.

Wynhoff, 45, of Fergus Falls, also faced a second-degree murder charge, two additional charges related to manslaughter and two charges related to malicious punishment of a child. Those charges were dismissed at Friday's hearing in Otter Tail County District Court.

Bobbie Bishop, 41, of Fergus Falls, is Wynhoff’s co-defendant in the case and is charged with the same counts. She has an evidentiary hearing slated for March 21.

Court records show the boy, Justis Burland, died in April after suffering from ongoing abuse. At the time of his death, the boy and his twin brother were living in Fergus Falls with Wynhoff and Bishop, described as a “family friend” in court documents.

Wynhoff pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement, which means he will have to cooperate with the state to testify against Bishop if her case goes to trial, prosecutor Michelle Eldien said.

Per the plea agreement, Wynhoff can likely be sentenced to four years in prison, Eldien said. His sentencing is slated for May 6.