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Minnesota Man Gets 12.5 Years In Prison For Slaying Over Bar Poker Game With $0 Buy-In

Chad Nelson, 45, To Spend Over A Decade In Prison

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A bar poker game gone horribly wrong has resulted in a prison sentence of 12.5 years for one Minnesota man.

According to a report from ABC Newspapers, 45-year-old Chad Nelson was sentenced Thursday over the July 2015 shooting that stemmed from a cheating accusation in the free poker tournament. The altercation continued in the parking lot outside Willy’s Bar in Coon Rapids, and when it was over a man by the name of Rayontra McCall was dead. He was 29.

Anoka County District Court Judge Thomas Fitzpatrick handed out the sentence after Nelson was convicted in April of unintentional second-degree murder while committing a felony.

Nelson, who was alone that evening, claimed self-defense against McCall and his friends. Nelson said he had stopped by the bar to play some poker after refereeing a youth soccer game.

However, the night started to head south when one of McCall’s friends accused Nelson of “cheating him out of two poker chips,” the report said.

Nelson said that McCall punched him in the face through the window of his vehicle when Nelson was trying to leave. A witness confirmed that McCall had struck Nelson.

This is when Nelson fired two shots outside his car. The victim later died at the hospital.

“Ray would be alive today if he punched me once and ran,” Nelson said. “Lucky for my life, I was able to fight back.”