Austin man charged with armed robbery in Albert Lea

Published 1:16 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

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An Austin man was charged in Freeborn County District Court on Wednesday tied to an alleged armed robbery at a residence last Friday in Albert Lea.

Shawn Michael Miller, 35, was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, first-degree burglary while in possession of a dangerous weapon or explosive, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and ineligible person in possession of a firearm after a crime of violence.

Court documents state Albert Lea officers were dispatched to a house on St. John Avenue on Jan. 19 after two suspects had reportedly robbed an individual.

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The victim told police two people had entered the house asking where “it” was at, noting he had recently won some money while gambling. He said one of the individuals fired a gun that he thought was a 9mm pistol, and at one point, the other individual struck him in the face with a baseball bat.

One witness reportedly stated she believed the victim was able to block the blow, but police noted his face was red on one side and had a small cut.

Another witness reportedly stated the individuals told the victim to get on his knees and empty his pockets and that she heard one of them say “I’m gonna shoot you” and then shot off a round.

Officers found a spent 9mm shell casing in the house but were not able to find where the bullet lodged. They also found footprints in the snow near the house and reviewed video footage showing two people in the area.

Court documents state Miller was arrested by a Minnesota State Patrol trooper after a traffic stop Monday evening. In a search of the vehicle, law enforcement found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine and seized Miller’s shoes, which matched footprints in the snow outside the residence.

When interviewed by detectives, Miller reportedly admitted to being at the victim’s house the morning of Jan. 19, but said it was for a drug deal. He also allegedly admitted to shooting a round with a pistol but said that was to stop the other two from fighting.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning set conditional bail at $100,000 and unconditional bail at $200,000.

Miller is next slated to appear in court Feb. 1.