A Twin Cities man has been sentenced to prison for killing another man with one punch outside a Lake Mille Lacs resort during the 2016 fishing opener.
David M. Stay, 46, of Brooklyn Park, was sentenced Monday in Mille Lacs County District Court to a term of 4¼ years after jurors convicted him last fall of first-degree manslaughter and fifth-degree assault in the death of David Taute, 46, of Prior Lake, in May 2016.
Stay will spend nearly three years in prison and then serve the balance on supervised release. Stay's criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for three instances of drunken driving, assault and disorderly conduct.
The confrontation occurred at the outset of the annual Minnesota fishing opener about 1 a.m. outside Nitti's Hunters Point Resort on the lake's eastern shore.
Witnesses told authorities that the two were talking before Stay knocked out Taute with one punch to the jaw. Taute never regained consciousness.
Stay was spotted afterward walking along a road and told a deputy, "I knocked him out," the criminal complaint against him read. He told authorities that Taute had been pushing him. A sheriff's deputy noted that Stay smelled of alcohol but did not appear to be intoxicated.
The defense pointed out in a filing before sentencing that "even the State conceded that there was provocation by the victim. He clearly was yelling in Mr. Stay's face, and he clearly poked or pushed him more than once. ... The victim was the initiator and provoked Mr. Stay's overreaction."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482