Attorney Speaks On Charges Against Grandfather

Posted at: 01/18/2013 6:35 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 6:42 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- The Olmsted County attorney is speaking out after filing criminal charges against a Rochester pastor. Stan Wilkinson, 61 accidentally shot his own granddaughter last month thinking she was an intruder.
He's now been charged with a felony. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says no matter if it was an accident it's still a chargeable offense.

"It really doesn't make any difference who the actual victim was, who the shooter was, it is what is," said Ostrem.

According to the criminal complaint Wilkinson's granddaughter who had been living with him, had snuck out that night and was attempting to sneak in at the back sliding glass door when she was shot.

Wilkinson had thought that she was sleeping. He grabbed his gun and shot through the sliding door at a dark figure. He told investigators he didn't shout warning or anything he just freaked.

"Stanley Wilkinson was charged with intentional discharge of the fire arm that could or did endanger somebody," said Ostrem.

His intentions to shoot is what Ostrem says makes these charges fit.

"It's fairly straightforward the allegation is that he discharged a weapon that did endanger somebody," said Ostrem.

Wilkinson's granddaughter was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the neck. The charges were delayed until investigators could interview the teen. She has since been released from the hospital.

"This was an intentional act he pointed the gun and he pulled the trigger," said Ostrem.

The charges are a low level felony, but Ostrem says no matter the circumstances, he has to go by the law.

"If there's a basis and an underlying case law to the charges we’ll file charges, we don't back away based on who somebody is or the circumstances, if we have a basis to go forward on we have an obligation to go forward."

Wilkinson was never booked into jail. His first court date is February 25th. The max penalty is five years in prison.