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Father pleads guilty to shooting mother of his children in Otter Tail County

Phoutthasa Prathane told investigators he shot the woman because he couldn’t see his children, according to court documents.

Prathane, Phoutthasa.jpg
Phoutthasa Prathane.
Otter Tail County Jail photo
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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — A Warroad man has admitted to breaking into a home and trying to kill the mother of his children last month in Otter Tail County, according to court documents.

Phoutthasa Prathane, 36, pleaded guilty Monday, May 9, to felony counts of attempted murder and burglary in connection to the April attack on his wife at her mother’s Pelican Rapids home.

Prathane signed a plea agreement that would give him a sentence of 183 months in prison, if approved by a judge. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 13.

Prathane showed up April 10 at the house where his six children and their mother had been living since October, according to court documents. The two had been together for 10 years, but she left him after claiming he became abusive, a criminal complaint said.

The woman had a protection order against Prathane.

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She ran into her mother’s house when she saw Prathane drive up to the home, but he made his way into the house, assaulted the mother of his children and shot her three times, the complaint said.

His children were playing in the basement at the time of the shooting, the complaint said. The woman’s mother tried to shield her, but Prathane threw the woman’s mother into a stack of water bottles before firing his weapon, according to the complaint.

The woman who was shot survived, and is recovering.

On Tuesday, May 10, she has spoke with WDAY's Matt Henson, saying via text message, "The pain will be lifelong, but all the love and support will help our family heal with time."

Members of the victim's family say they aren't happy with the plea deal, and plan on bringing this case to the attention of Gov. Tim Walz, hoping for tougher punishments in domestic violence cases and cases of violence against children.

Prathane was arrested two days after the shooting in Redwood County in southwest Minnesota after a high-speed chase, authorities said. No one was injured in the pursuit.

He told investigators he shot the woman because he couldn’t see his children, according to the complaint. Prathane also disclosed plans to “take out” the woman’s father, saying if he couldn’t see his own children, “then he (the woman’s father) should not get to see his children,” the complaint said.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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