Jul. 13—OLIVIA — Elizabeth Perry Lynch, 36, of Hector, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter — culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk in the fatal shooting of Anthony Jon Tebben, 43, in their home in Hector on March 26, 2020.
Lynch offered her guilty plea June 28 before Judge Laurence Stratton in District Court in Renville County. It was part of an agreement in which prosecutors agreed to drop charges of second-degree murder with intent — not premeditated and second-degree murder — without intent while committing a felony.
There was no plea agreement on a sentence. The sentencing guidelines call for a 48-month prison sentence, according to Renville County Attorney David Torgelson. Lynch has been in custody since her arrest. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8.
On the night of March 26, 2020, Lynch fired a handgun she had purchased that morning in Montevideo while she and Tebben argued in the home. The two had a troubled relationship and often argued, according to court records.
Tebben had broken a plate that had belonged to Lynch's mother. He was taunting her while she pointed the handgun at him at close range during the argument, according to allegations in the criminal complaint.
When interviewed by arresting officers immediately after the shooting, Lynch said Tebben had been beating her for half a year and that she was afraid of him, according to court records. She said she did not know the handgun was loaded and that she "flinched" and it discharged, according to statements she made to investigators.
The case was scheduled for a jury trial to begin July 28. Torgelson said the prosecutors in the case, the Renville County Attorney's Office and State Attorney General's Office, agreed to accept the guilty plea to manslaughter and dismiss the murder charges following a recent ruling by the District Court.
The ruling would have allowed Lynch to offer evidence of past domestic abuse by Tebben. He was convicted previously on domestic abuse charges involving a former spouse of his in Redwood and Renville counties.
Court records indicate that potential witnesses were to testify that Tebben and Lynch argued and that there were alleged instances where they punched each other.