Albert Lea man pleads guilty in assault

Published 11:01 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

An Albert Lea man charged in connection with assaulting another man with a firearm in April pleaded guilty Tuesday in Freeborn County District to terroristic threats.

Donald Maurice McCormick, 20, and Cody Shawn Rhyns, 45, were originally each charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of illegally possessing a firearm.

Those charges were dismissed for McCormick. His plea was classified as an Alford plea.

Donald McCormick

Donald McCormick

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According to Freeborn County District records, the assault took place at an apartment on South Broadway after the victim reportedly went to Rhyns’ apartment to confront him about $200 that had been stolen.

The victim told police he reportedly yelled and knocked at Rhyns’ door for three hours trying to get his attention, and Rhyns eventually answered the door and allegedly struck him in the face with a stock of a rifle. When the door opened, another man, identified as McCormick, allegedly pointed a rifle at the victim.

McCormick reportedly stated he opened the door but denied picking up a gun. He admitted that he knew guns were in the house and that at one point Rhyns picked up a gun in the apartment.

Police found two rifles and two shotguns in a search of the apartment.

Freeborn County Assistant Attorney David Walker said McCormick Tuesday acknowledged he was in the apartment and that he collaborated with Rhyns to scare the alleged victim.

Sentencing for McCormick is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Terroristic threats carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and or a $10,000 fine. Walker said he expects McCormick to face a presumptive sentence of five years of probation and a nearly two-year stayed prison sentence.

A settlement conference for Rhyns is scheduled for July 13. A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 11, if the case has not been resolved by then.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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