(Learfield News Service/KWLM/Olivia, MN) An Olivia man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a man he accused of persuading his wife to leave him.
Sixty-one-year-old Michael Klatt walked into the Smart Mart in Fairfax January 11th and shot employee Kenneth Eckstein of Hector with a shotgun. Klatt blamed Eckstein for encouraging Klatt’s wife, who worked with Eckstein, to leave him. Eckstein suffered wounds to his face and hand, but was still able to fight back and knock Klatt unconscious. Klatt was charged with attempted murder and two counts of assault.
In Renville County District Court in Olivia Monday morning, and on the attempted murder conviction, Judge Laurence Stratton sentenced Klatt to 180 months in prison in St. Cloud. However, he also gave Klatt credit for 9 months he has spent in jail since his arrest.
The judge also sentenced Klatt to 36 months in prison for one of the two assault charges, but those months will be served at the same time as the 180 months on the murder conviction. The other assault charge was dismissed.
Klatt will also have to pay restitution to Eckstein, the amount to be determined at a future date.