Man pleads guilty to 2018 Duluth murder

Brian Shaw pleaded guilty to a 2018 murder in Duluth Tuesday.
Brian Shaw pleaded guilty to a 2018 murder in Duluth Tuesday.(KBJR 6/CBS 3)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 11:47 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- A Duluth murder suspect has pleaded guilty to a 2018 crime.

Brian Ross Shaw, 34, of Hibbing, entered that plea to his unintentional second degree murder charge in St. Louis County Court Tuesday morning.

He’s accused of shooting Kevin John Weiss, 35, in the Gary New Duluth neighborhood in December 2018.

Shaw is set to be sentenced Nov. 3.

Court documents show issues between Shaw and Weiss allegedly started to develop several months before the shooting, after Shaw and his longtime partner separated back in May 2018.

Police say Shaw and his partner had three children together, and he moved to Hibbing after they separated.

Shaw also told investigators that he and Weiss had known each other for many years, and had grown up together. Police say Shaw had “expressed extreme hostility” toward Weiss in the days leading up to the shooting.

CONFRONTATION BEFORE SHOOTING

The criminal complaint states Weiss and his girlfriend, Shaw’s former partner, had been fighting the day of the shooting. She eventually kicked Weiss out of her home along W. Reis Street in Duluth, but police say Weiss returned later Monday afternoon to gather his belongings, and broke a window out of the residence when she did not let him in.

The woman told both police and Shaw about the ordeal. Shaw says he was “concerned for the well-being of his family,” and decided to drive from Hibbing to Gary New Duluth with an uncased pistol-handled shotgun in his vehicle.

Both Shaw and Weiss started arguing over the phone soon after. At one point, police say Shaw texted Weiss the message, “Good, I got my shotgun and I want to use it.” Another text from Shaw to his former partner reads, “I hope he realizes I only have about a year left to live, and all I’ve done the last four months is collect guns.”

Shaw eventually told investigators he has been diagnosed with ALS.

Shaw told investigators he was immediately confronted by Weiss when he arrived on scene just after 6 p.m. Monday. He says Weiss threw a container at him, which later turned out to contain syringes and drug paraphernalia.

Shaw claims Weiss continued to approach him, even after he had racked his shotgun and told him to stay back. Shaw says Weiss pushed him, causing him to stumble and fall, which also caused the shotgun to discharge. He denies pulling the trigger.

Authorities say lifesaving efforts performed on Weiss, who had a “devastating wound” to his lower abdomen, were unsuccesful.

CONFLICTING TESTIMONY

While Shaw claims his shotgun went off accidentally after stumbling backward, forensics are painting a different story.

According to a preliminary report by the medical examiner, the buckshot recovered during the autopsy indicates a “downward trajectory” of the shot.

Authorities say that’s not consistent with Shaw’s version of events.

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