Austin, MN (KROC-AM News)- A murder trial got underway in southeast Minnesota Monday morning. 

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The trial stems from charges filed in Mower County Court in August of 2021 following a fatal shooting that claimed the life of a 20-year-old woman. 

29-year-old Me’Darian McGruder of Austin was captured in September of 2021 after an arrest warrant was issued for him in connection with the shooting death of Tyesha Gills, who was found fatally wounded in a home in the 100 block of 10th Street Northwest in Austin

Mower County Sheriff's Office photo
Mower County Sheriff's Office photo

McGruder is facing two counts of second-degree murder, a count of second-degree manslaughter, possession of a firearm as a violent felon and felony domestic assault. 

An amended third-degree murder charge was dismissed before the trial began. McGruder has opted for a court trial, meaning a Mower County judge instead of a jury will decide his fate. 

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

The criminal complaint alleges he shot and killed Gills at her Austin home on the night of July 31, 2021. A witness told investigators McGruder shot the young woman in the chest after she continued to point a small laser at him after he warned her to stop. 

Austin Police Dept. photo
Austin Police Dept. photo

The charges say McGruder then fled the residence and the witness called 911. Austin Police found Gills on the floor bleeding from the chest wound and attempted lifesaving measures. 

She was pronounced dead after she arrived at the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital in Austin. 

The court trial is set to resume Tuesday morning.

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