A 35-year-old man who fatally beat an off-duty firefighter outside a western Minnesota bar has been sentenced to a term of 7½ years.
Jacob E. Larson, 35, was sentenced Monday in Douglas County District Court in connection with the death of Steven Hlinsky, 46, on May 5, 2018, during what appears to have been a dispute over a romantic relationship.
Larson, convicted in January by jurors of manslaughter, received credit for seven months in jail after his arrest and will serve about 4⅔ years of his term in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Larson, of Kensington, Minn., was acquitted on the two most serious charges, second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
An accomplice, Troy N. Traut, 35, pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor assault charge in exchange for his testimony against Larson. Traut, of Pine River, Minn., was initially charged with all the same counts that Larson had been facing. Traut’s next court date is Aug. 13.
Hlinsky, of Forada, Minn., suffered bleeding on the brain, broken facial and skull bones and a detached retina.
He was operating a fifth-generation grain farm south of Forada and was an assistant chief of the town’s Fire and Rescue unit.
According to the charges, Traut approached Hlinsky, grabbed a beer bottle and tossed it against a wall in the Muddy Boot bar.
As Hlinsky led Larson to the door, Traut pulled Hlinsky by one arm out the door as Larson had him in a headlock. Traut and Larson both denied attacking Hlinsky that night.
Traut acknowledged suspicions about a romantic relationship he believed Hlinsky was having and argued with Hlinsky in the bar, charges said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482