WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 12, 2010, 03:47 PM

Shooter of Mahnomen deputy now charged with murder

MAHNOMEN, Minn. (AP) — The man charged with shooting Mahnomen County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Dewey is now facing murder charges after Dewey's death.

Thomas Fairbanks was arraiged Wednesday in Mahnomen County Court on a second-degree murder charge. The Minnesota Attorney General's Office is handling his prosecution.

Lakeland News in Bemidji reports Fairbanks could eventually be charged with first-degree murder which would mean a life sentence without parole if he's convicted. Dewey was shot in the head and abdomen in February 2009 while investigating a report of a drunken driver in Mahnomen. He died Monday.

Fairbanks is being held in the Polk County jail in Crookston which is also where his trial will be held. He did not immediately return a request for comment left with the jail's administrator.