A rural Detroit Lakes man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his roommate, who was shot in the chest and buried in a pit at their residence on the 27000 block of Holbrook Road about 11 miles south of Detroit Lakes just over the Otter Tail County line.
Jordan Jerome Dalman, 25, appeared in Otter Tail County District Court Monday, where cash bail or bond was set at $750,000, with conditions, or bond at $1 million without standard conditions of release.
According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement first became aware of the death of the roommate, Dylan Butler, 28, when Dalman's parents, Jerome and Rosalie Dalman of rural Vergas, walked into the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office at 3:30 p.m. Friday and allegedly said that their son had been involved in an incident.
A deputy who met with the Dalmans, and with Jordan Dalman, at the law enforcement center in Fergus Falls, allegedly learned there had been some sort of altercation at the Holbrook Road residence and that someone was dead.
Officers went to the residence, entered the house, and found nobody in need of help, although numerous guns were in the house.
Jerome Dalman allegedly told them to follow the tracks behind the barn, and that led them to a pit in which a black pickup truck could be seen, partially buried under debris. Only the driver's side door and cab panel were visible.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was called in to assist with the crime scene. The BCA investigator couldn't make it until the next morning, so the law enforcement officers secured the scene for the night, after confirming with Jerome and Rosalie Dalman, who allegedly said their son would not lie, that no one was in need of medical care.
Arrangements were made for heavy equipment to come the next day to help excavate the pit. The next morning, a search warrant was obtained and executed and law enforcement began excavating the pit.
They found bags of clothing, along with paperwork in Butler's name, and firearms. In mid-afternoon, Butler's body was found 10 feet deep in the pit, covered in dirt, debris and tree branches.
Officers observed gunshot wounds to the chest and exit wounds to the back. His billfold with identification was found in his pocket. Arrangements were made for an autopsy.
The older Dalmans told investigators that the last time they had seen their son prior to the incident was on Thursday, Sept. 20. They allegedly said the relationship between the two roommates was sometimes strained.
The two men met at a gunsmith school in Denver, and after graduating they decided to become roommates and moved to the Holbrook Road residence in May. Butler had formerly lived in Oklahoma and Colorado.
The BCA agent asked Jerome Dalman about human blood found in a fish house-camper on the north side of the house, and he replied that he didn't think he could talk about it.
However, when asked about firearms in the house, he allegedly said he knew which one was used and said it was the gun lying just inside the door - a semiautomatic pistol with a wood grip and action open.
The older Dalman then allegedly said the reason there was blood on the camper floor is because his son took Butler there to attempt first aid, but there was nothing he could do because the man had already died.
Nothing in the criminal complaint gives any reason for the shooting or details about any events that may have led to the shooting.
Dalman has no serious prior convictions in Minnesota. He was convicted of two petty misdemeanor driving offenses and a misdemeanor DWI, all in 2014.
Dalman is being represented by public defender Abbie Jean Thurmes, and the Otter Tail County Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.
On Monday, Otter Tail County District Judge Kevin Miller set an omnibus hearing for 9 a.m. Nov. 19.
An autopsy was set for Monday at the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Anoka.