Jury finds Lansing shooter not guilty of attempted murder

Published 2:01 pm Saturday, June 8, 2013

AUSTIN — The second suspect in last year’s shooting at a rural Lansing home is not guilty of attempted murder; however, he is guilty of four felony assault charges, a jury determined on Friday.

Daniel Robert Peterson, 63, was found guilty in Mower County District Court of first-degree assault with great bodily harm and three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. The jury decided he is not guilty of second-degree attempted murder with intent.

According to the court complaint, three people drove onto the Petersons’ property at 560th Avenue in Udolpho Township on Nov. 15, 2012, to hang out with Daniel’s son, Joseph Peterson, 27. However, the victims said Joseph acted strangely when he saw one victim, ran into a garage and then fired shots at their car with a rifle.

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The complaint added Daniel then exited the house and fired at the car as the victims tried to leave the property. One bullet reportedly went through the driver’s side window and struck a 30-year-old woman in the face while she was driving. A passenger reportedly grabbed the wheel and steered while the stricken victim hit the accelerator.

The passenger later switched seats with the injured woman and drove her to the Austin hospital, where officials locked down the facility for about 35 minutes as Mower County deputies searched for the suspects. The report stated the gunshot shattered some of the woman’s teeth, and she was later airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. She was eventually released from the hospital.

Police went to the Peterson home, where they arrested Joseph, who had a .22-caliber rifle. After roughly an hour, Daniel exited the house and turned himself in. During his initial appearance in court, Daniel said, “They were trespassing on my property; they were warned several times.”

In March, Joseph pleaded guilty to felony charges for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felon convicted of a crime of violence in possession of a firearm. Two other charges of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon were dismissed.

During this week’s jury trial, Daniel admitted he shot the rifle six times but was trying to shoot over the car without hitting the victims. Daniel’s sentencing has been set for Sept. 13. He is held in the Mower County jail without bail until then.