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Man sentenced for firing rounds in Cottage Grove

A man was sentenced earlier this month for firing several 9 mm rounds into a Cottage Grove cornfield after drinking late one night.

Samuel Latimore Jr., 32, of Brooklyn Park, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court in April to gross-misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality, in connection with an Aug. 15, 2013, incident.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Cottage Grove police sergeant on patrol after 1 a.m. heard possible gunshots near Keats Avenue and 90th Street. The officer found two men in a van in the parking lot of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church. The two men denied lighting fireworks and then did not say anything when asked if they had been shooting guns in the area.

Latimore was the passenger, and he told police he had a permit to carry a handgun. Latimore was removed from the vehicle because he did not follow orders to stay still. Police found live ammunition near where Latimore was sitting and a 9 mm handgun behind his back. There were spent shell casings near the passenger seat, according to police.

Latimore was given a blood-alcohol test after police detected the odor of alcohol in the van. He registered a 0.14, or nearly twice the legal driving limit.

The driver told police in an interview that Latimore had fired multiple shots in a nearby cornfield, which is within city limits.

Latimore was convicted of the gross misdemeanor July 2 and was placed on two years of supervised probation. He also was ordered to complete eight days of the Sentencing to Service program.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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