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Hector murder suspect appears in court

OLIVIA – A 35-year-old Hector woman who allegedly shot her boyfriend to death on March 26 in Hector, appeared in Renville County District Court Monday.

Charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter were filed in Renville County District Court March 27 against Elizabeth P. Lynch, 101 3rd St. E., Hector.

Judge Dwayne Knutson set Lynch’s unconditional bail at $500,000; $200,000 without conditions including no alcohol/controlled substance use. She was appointed public defender Curtis Reese.

According to court documents, Lynch called Renville County Dispatch at about 1 a.m. March 26 and said she just shot her boyfriend Tony (Tebben). Numerous law enforcement officers responded to the residence at 101 3rd St. E. in Hector.

Renville County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Best said he saw Lynch exit the residence with her right hand and waist covered in blood.

“Hey Best, I shot him,” she stated, according to the complaint, then asked if an ambulance was coming.

Two other officers secured Lynch while Best went inside the residence and saw Tebben lying on his right side on the floor with a pool of blood by his neck and head. His breathing was very labored.

Tebben was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he later died on Thursday.

Best entered the residence and found a black, semi-automatic handgun that appeared to have fired the shot or shots that hit Tebben. Upstairs, several children were told to stay there until social services arrived and put them in protective custody.

Lynch agreed to be transported to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office to give a voluntary statement. On the way, she made a number of voluntary statements, including how she bought the gun and it was a “stupid idea.”

She said Tebben got mad, threw a plate that broke just before the shooting. Lynch said she pointed the gun at Tebben but had no idea there was a bullet in the magazine of the gun. It went off and she said she didn’t know what happened.

At the Renville County Law Enforcement Center, Lynch was read the Miranda warning and agreed to talk. She said she and one of her daughters went shopping in Montevideo on March 25 and bought a handgun and ammunition at the Runnings store.

Lynch said she never owned a gun before buying the handgun. She was working with it in her residence but was not sure if she loaded it properly or if it was ready to fire.

She said Tebben came at her in an aggressive manner, she pointed the gun at him, must have flinched and the gun went off. Lynch said she didn’t shoot Tebben intentionally, that she was scared and not sure if he would hit her. Lynch said there was past domestic abuse in the relationship. She was arrested later that morning.

A Bureau of Criminal Apprehension autopsy report in the case cast some doubt on Lynch’s story that she must have fired as a result of flinching rather than an intentional act.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, BCA and Renville County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Hector Police with the investigation.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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