Dodge Center man pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder

Dodge Center Man Pleads Guilty to Murder

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(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: William Isaac Shillingford pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree murder–with intent, not premeditated in Olmsted County Court Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The details of Shillingford’s plea agreement were not immediately available on Minnesota Court Records Online.

Shillingford’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2024.


(ABC 6 News) – William Isaac Shillingford’s court trial will begin after another trial concludes, likely Wednesday, according to Olmsted County court administration.

Shillingford was scheduled to stand in front of judge Joseph Chase at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

However, the jury trial for Olmsted County defendant Thomas Moe, facing several criminal sexual conduct charges, began at 8:30 a.m. Monday, with Chase presiding.

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According to court administration, Shillingford’s trial is “on call” until the Moe trial concludes.


(ABC 6 News) – A Dodge Center man accused of murdering a Kalmar Township resident in May of 2022 waived his right to a jury trial Thursday, Oct. 26.

Instead, William Isaac Shillingford’s trial verdict will be determined by an Olmsted County judge.

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Said trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, without the need to select a jury panel before arguments begin.

“Other than having 12 persons vs 1 determine the facts, the trial will be the same,” Olmsted County attorney Mark Ostrem said.

Shillingford faces a charge of 2nd-degree murder–with intent, not premeditated; a charge of 2nd-degree murder–without intent, while committing a felony; and a charge of 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, causing substantial bodily harm after allegedly shooting and killing 70-year-old John Colbert May 8, 2022.

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According to court documents, Colbert was home that evening with his son at the 5000 block of County Road 105, when the two noticed a white Tacoma pickup truck on the property.

Colbert, armed with a 45-caliber handgun, and his son walked outside to investigate, according to court documents.

As they walked near their detached garage, Shillingford allegedly hid behind the shed and shot at the pair, hitting Colbert three times.

According to court documents, Colbert died after one of the shots hit an artery in his forearm.

Witnesses told law enforcement they saw Shillingford tip-toeing across a field near the property, according to court documents.
He was taken into custody near an event barn by Oxbow Park.

Shillingford’s defense previously planned to argue that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the crime of which he is accused.

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However, the trial would be unlikely to go forward if Olmsted County Court believed Shillingford had been unable to understand his actions at the time of the shooting.

Court documents filed in July and August do indicate that the defendant began attending a cognitive skills court in the Government Center, after his attorney cited the need to help treat his major depression and anxiety.