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Charges filed in Preston shooting (12/30/2012)
By Emily Buss

Multiple criminal charges have been filed against a Canton man accused of shooting a 49-year-old woman in the neck inside a Preston home and leading area law enforcement officials on a chase that ended in a 30-minute stand-off near Wilson.

Roger James Bergmann, Jr., 39, of Canton, is facing 13 criminal charges, including two second degree attempted murder charges, after he became irate and shot Candice Erdner, 49, in the neck because she was “messing with him.”

According to the complaint filed by Fillmore County, a third party, Eric Newman, said he went to the Preston residence in the 500 block of North St. Anthony Street shortly before 12 p.m. to inquire about money Bergmann owed him.

Newman said Bergmann grabbed him, pulled him inside the residence, pinned him to a wall, and put a 9mm gun to the left side of his head. Newman said Bergmann threatened to kill him and that Bergmann would “come down and then become irate again.”

At that point, Erdner entered the residence and the three began to argue. Newman said Bergmann waved the gun around and then struck Erdner in the head with the gun. When Erdner recovered and prepared to leave, Bergmann shot her, the complaint said.

A witness said Erdner ran out of the home yelling, “Roger shot me, he shot me, he shot me,” while Bergmann followed behind saying, “Sorry Candy, sorry Candy.”

Bergmann then fled the scene in a blue pickup truck. In a statement to police, Bergmann said he bought the gun several days prior to the incident and intended to kill himself. Bergmann also said he was driving to his mother’s house in Wisconsin and knew law enforcement officials were following him.

Shortly before 2 p.m., officials from the Winona County Sheriff’s Department, Winona Police Department, Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and others stopped the pickup at the Winona exit off Interstate 90. Bergmann refused to leave the vehicle for approximately 30 minutes before turning himself in.

Preston Ambulance crew members tended to a wounded Erdner and took her to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester where she underwent emergency surgery. She is currently listed in good condition.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension officials assisted law enforcement in obtaining a search warrant for both the pickup and the home. Items found in the pickup included a Remington model 1100 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Remington 20-gauge slug, 22-caliber rounds, a bag containing a crystal-like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine, and $737 in cash.

Items found in the home included an undetermined amount of crystal methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia, as well as several 20-gauge Remington slugs.

Bergmann has been convicted of numerous felonies since 1992, including several disorderly conduct convictions, two driving while intoxicated convictions, a violation of an order for protection, and fifth degree domestic assault.

An arraignment was held on Christmas Eve, and Bergmann was charged with two counts of kidnapping to commit great bodily harm, terrorize; one count of second degree attempted murder with intent, not premeditated; one count of second degree attempted murder without intent while committing a felony; one count of third degree attempted murder perpetrating an eminently dangerous act and evincing a depraved mind; one count of first degree assault causing great bodily harm; one count of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon causing substantial bodily harm; one count of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon; one count of terroristic threats; one count of fifth degree possession of controlled substance; one count of fifth degree sale of a “schedule four” controlled substance; fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle; and felony possession of an assault weapon.

Bergmann is being held at the Fillmore County Jail on a $1 million bond, and his next court appearance will be Monday, December 31. 


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