Cass Lake man sentenced to 19.5 years for 2nd-degree murder

13 July 2023

CASS COUNTY, Minn. William Headbird, of Cass Lake, has been sentenced to 234 months in prison for second-degree murder in connection with the July 2021 shooting death of Diego Gasca.

According to a news release from Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom, Headbird, 47, was sentenced on Wednesday, July 12, after pleading guilty to the charges of ineligible possession of a firearm and second-degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint, at 2:45 a.m. July 5, 2021, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man being shot near Basswood Avenue and Fourth Street Northwest in Cass Lake.

When deputies arrived, they found a male victim, who was later identified as 34-year-old Diego Gasca, of Cass Lake, lying in the street with what appeared to be several gunshot wounds to the chest. Gasca was transported to the Cass Lake Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the documents said.

Through its investigation, law enforcement learned that a large gathering had taken place at 323 and 412 Fourth St. NW in Cass Lake, which had begun the afternoon of July 4, 2021, and lasted into the early morning hours up to the shooting incident. Witnesses at the scene identified one of the males walking through the party scene as Headbird, the complaint continued.

“Shortly after the altercation, witnesses observed a car pull up at the intersection of Basswood Avenue and Fourth Street NW, and several shots were fired from the vehicle,” the complaint said. “The vehicle then sped off to the east on Fourth Street NW. Witnesses report the victim stumbled and fell shortly after the gunshots, and they realized he had been struck by gunfire.”

After locating the vehicle and matching its description to Headbird’s vehicle, collecting DNA and interviewing witnesses, it was determined that Headbird was the shooter.

Headbird was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder on July 5, 2022, in Cass County. He was sentenced to 234 months, or 19.5 years, in prison on Wednesday.


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