WALKER -- A 26-year-old Cass Lake man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison for the murder of a 19-year-old Cass Lake woman.
Judge John Smith sentenced Richard Anthony Paquette in Cass County District Court.
Paquette pleaded guilty Oct. 8 to second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Geraldine Lynn Whipple, with whom Paquette lived in Cass Lake.
Whipple was shot in the temple by a round from a .25-caliber handgun, the Cass County Sheriff's Department reported. She suffered major brain damage and died two days later at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D.
According to the criminal complaint, Paquette told Cass County deputies he could not recall everything from the night he shot Whipple because he had been drinking and took a pill to ease the pain of a toothache.
Paquette told investigators he did remember having an argument with Whipple and may have choked her.
Paquette was gathering items and leaving the residence, the criminal complaint said, and he took the gun from under the bed.
The complaint further stated that while holding her wrist, Paquette said he and Whipple fell to the floor and the gun discharged, striking Whipple in the head.
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