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March Mania

Wisconsin man indicted for first-degree murder in fatal shooting of uncle in northeast Minnesota

James Francis Montano

CARLTON, Minn. — A grand jury on Thursday, March 7, indicted a Bayfield County, Wis., man on a premeditated first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his uncle in northeast Minnesota.

James Francis Montano, 33, allegedly opened fire outside his father’s residence last April, killing 57-year-old Andrew James Gokee and injuring 38-year-old Hudson Gauthier.

If convicted of the new charge, Montano would face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The grand jury also indicted him on charges of intentional second-degree murder and attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

Gokee, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., was a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a prominent Native American leader in the region. Gauthier, of Stevens Point, Wis., is his son and Montano’s cousin.

Investigators said at the time that they did not have a clear motive for Montano’s alleged actions. Thursday’s indictment simply lists the charges and does not provide any new information.

Montano initially was charged with intentional second-degree murder, attempted premeditated first-degree murder and second-degree assault.

He is scheduled to be back in court on March 26.

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