Chisago County man sentenced to 32 years in prison for fatal 2022 shooting

A Chisago County man learned his future in Pine County Court on Tuesday afternoon after being convicted for the 2022 murder of a man in Hinckley.

John Thomas Quitter, 37, was sentenced by Judge Heather Wynn to 32-and-a-half years (391 months) in prison at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility, according to court records. He received 281 days of credit for time served.

On April 26, a jury found Quitter guilty on three counts of second-degree murder, which carry a 40-year maximum sentence each, in addition to a guilty verdict on one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, which carries a 3-year maximum sentence.

Court records show Quitter pled guilty to one count of possessing a firearm on April 17. That conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Quitter is not allowed to own a gun because of a previous drug conviction.

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According to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, Quitter dropped the victim off at Essential Hospital on Sept. 6, where the victim later died. Hospital staff told law enforcement that the victim had numerous gunshot wounds to the chest, over 250 BB gun wounds and a cut on his right inner forearm.

Quitter told hospital staff there was a “coon hunting accident” at a property on Lake Alma Road and provided officials with an address and phone number, according to the complaint.

When a Pine County investigator called the number Quitter left, a woman who identified herself as the victim’s girlfriend answered. She told law enforcement that she was previously dating Quitter and had gone to the Lake Alma Road property on Sept. 6 with the victim to pick up some things she had there.

The criminal complaint states that the woman and the victim were arguing when they arrived at the trailer on the property. The argument continued as the woman entered the trailer, where Quitter was inside.

The victim continued to argue with the woman outside of the trailer, eventually punching a window and breaking the glass. The woman told law enforcement she then heard a gunshot outside but did not see what was happening.

The complaint notes that in an interview with police, Quitter told multiple different versions of the story while admitting to law enforcement that what he was saying did not make sense.