Woman pleads guilty in attempted murder of MN trooper

Published: Jan. 3, 2019 at 2:19 PM CST
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The woman officials say showed a firearm at a Minnesota State trooper in March 2018, pled guilty to 1st degree attempted murder and felon in possession of a firearm early this afternoon at the Clay County Courthouse.

Officials originally charged 30-year-old Melody Grey of Milwaukee, Wisc., with attempted murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of stolen property.

The stolen property charge was dropped in the plea agreement.

Documents say on the morning of March 5, 31-year-old Gray and 29-year-old Domonique Crayton were driving westbound on I-94 in Clay County, Minn.

Gray lost control of the vehicle around 10:30 a.m. and spun out just east of County Highway 336. Minnesota State Trooper Mark Peterson saw the vehicle and stopped to assist.

Documents say Petersen learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Germantown, Wis., so he parked his squad car to prevent Gray and Crayton from driving away. Peterson then asked Crayton to exit the vehicle.

When Peterson attempted to handcuff Crayton, Gray exited the vehicle and pointed a handgun at the trooper. Trooper Peterson pulled Crayton behind the vehicle, put him to the ground and fired a shot at Gray, striking her in the right arm.

She fled across north the westbound lanes of I-94 into a field.

A snowplow clearing the westbound lanes stopped near the scene.

Peterson handcuffed Crayton and left him on his stomach behind the car. The trooper ran to the snowplow and recovered a gun under the plow.

Crayton got back onto his feet just as an off-duty 911 dispatcher came upon the scene. She ordered Crayton back to the ground and prevented him from getting up until the trooper could return.

Gray collapsed in the field, and responding officers from the State Patrol, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Moorhead and Dilworth Police Departments arrived at the scene. They removed Gray from the field and provided medical attention until the ambulance arrived.

Gray was taken by ambulance to Essentia Hospital in Fargo for the gunshot wound.

The courtroom was filled with about 15 law enforcement officers from various agencies, which Gray said caused her anxiety while she was up on the stand.

Gray told the courtroom that when she pointed the gun at the trooper's head, she attempted to pull the trigger in an effort 'to scare him.' She later said, however, that when she pulled the trigger, a bullet didn't come out.

Gray could face up to 35 years in prison. Her sentencing date has been set to Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Officials originally charged Crayton with felony damage to property, receiving stolen property, and other charges.

At the time of arrest, both Gray and Crayton had outstanding warrants out of Milwaukee for kidnapping and other felony charges.

Trooper Peterson was not injured. The shooting incident was captured on squad video, but there was no body camera video of the incident.