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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 35-year-old man charged in connection with a Town of Tainter shooting May 27 has pleaded guilty to two felonies and has been sentenced to five years in prison and twelve months in jail.
Shawn Harris Goplen appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court with his attorney, Francis Rivard, November 6 before Judge Rod Smeltzer and pleaded “no contest” to felony counts of a convicted felon being in possession of a firearm and second degree recklessly endangering safety.
Judge Smeltzer accepted Goplen’s plea of no contest and found him guilty on the two felony charges, both as a repeat offender, and dismissed but read in for sentencing one other felony charge of substantial battery intending bodily harm and one misdemeanor count of pointing a firearm at a person.
Judge Smeltzer sentenced Goplen to 12 months in jail, with 160 days of credit, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The judge sentenced Goplen to five years of initial confinement and five years of extended supervision for recklessly endangering safety.
Judge Smeltzer ordered the sentences for the two felonies to be served concurrently.
Goplen shot Bruce R. Sundstrom of rural Colfax May 27 and then fled. Law enforcement officers spent several days searching for Goplen and the woman who had been with him, Kari L. Blank.
Law enforcement officers were able to track Goplen’s cellular telephone to Rusk County and then to Barron County, and Goplen and Blank were apprehended at the Dollar General store in Rice Lake.
Blank was in the vehicle Goplen was driving during the pursuit by law enforcement and was found hiding in the bathroom at the Dollar General store.
According to the criminal complaint, at around 10:42 p.m. Sunday, May 27, two deputies from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to E5955 County Road D in the Town of Tainter after a 911 call reported Bruce Sundstrom, age 48, had been shot in the leg.
During the early morning hours of May 28, a search warrant was executed at E5955 County Road D, and investigators observed various drug paraphernalia throughout the residence as well as a Baggie containing a white crystalized substance which later tested positive for methamphetamine.
Investigators observed, too, the chair where Sundstrom had likely been sitting when he was shot based on the blood on and around the chair. One of the investigators recovered a .45 caliber bullet from the chair, according to the complaint.
Blank pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of methamphetamine in September, and Judge Smeltzer withheld sentence and placed Blank on 36 months of probation.
In addition, Judge Smeltzer ordered Blank to complete Pierce County Treatment Court if she is eligible and imposed and stayed a 180-day jail sentence.
During the November 6 court hearing, Judge Smeltzer ordered Goplen to pay $268 in court costs and a $250 drug surcharge for each of the felonies on which he had been convicted.
Goplen was ordered to complete alcohol and other drug abuse assessment (AODA) and to follow through with treatment.
Goplen also cannot possess a firearm or vote during the pendency of his sentence.