A trial date has been scheduled for the man accused of fatally shooting an acquaintance outside a Gary-New Duluth residence last December.
Brian Ross Shaw, 35, of Hibbing, will go before a jury on Jan. 7. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the death of 35-year-old Kevin Weiss.
Shaw appeared in State District Court in Duluth on Monday, with defense attorney Matthew Benfield indicating that no settlement has been reached.
Benfield did formally enter a challenge to any evidence obtained by investigators through a search warrant for Facebook records, though the defense attorney acknowledged the motion, if granted, would not resolve the case.
Authorities said Shaw shot Weiss during a confrontation after days of expressing "extreme hostility" toward the victim. Shaw reportedly has a terminal illness and had spent several months stockpiling firearms before the shooting, according to court documents.
Weiss was pronounced dead after suffering a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen during the Dec. 10 incident outside a residence on the 100 block of West Reis Street. Shaw allegedly claimed to have shot him by accident, though authorities have disputed that account.
According to a criminal complaint, Shaw had lived with a woman at the residence for a number of years and had three children with her. After they separated in May 2018, Shaw moved to Hibbing. Weiss — who "grew up together" with Shaw — then began a relationship with the woman, but court documents say she had kicked him out of the house on the afternoon of the shooting.
Weiss later returned to collect his belongings and broke a window in the home, according to the woman, who had said she wanted no contact with him. The complaint states that she was in contact with Shaw, who acknowledged to police that he had also talked to Weiss and told him he had a shotgun. But he denied making threats.
According to a forensic analysis of a cellphone Shaw used, Shaw sent Weiss a text at 1:26 p.m. with the message, "But you and your s--- better be gone when I get there cuz you're not going to like what happens." Weiss responded with "bring it," and then Shaw with, "Sounds good buddy."
According to the complaint, Shaw had commented on his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) while mentioning his collection of guns and expressing increased hostility toward Weiss in the days leading up to the shooting.
Shaw allegedly told investigators that he brought an uncased shotgun with him to the residence. He said that when he arrived, he encountered Weiss outside, and that Weiss threw a container at him. The defendant stated that Weiss yelled at him and eventually pushed him, causing him to stumble backward and fall, accidentally discharging the gun.
Authorities, however, said a medical examiner's preliminary report found that the slug's trajectory did not match Shaw's account.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Jill Eichenwald scheduled a final pretrial hearing for Dec. 19. Shaw remains out of custody after posting a $75,000 bond.