St. Cloud man charged with first degree murder

ST. CLOUD – A Stearns County grand jury has indicted a St. Cloud man with first-degree murder and a second St. Cloud man with accessory to first-degree murder.

Forty-two years old Alfonso Cotto is also charged with 2nd degree murder, aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

And, 53 years old Paul Colman is also charged with aiding and abetting the second degree murder in the May 24 shooting death of a 38-year-old man Michel Batsche.

The incident happened at a house in the 1200 block of 10th Avenue South. Police arrived to find Batsche lying on the ground near the back door with a gunshot wound to the head.

After the shooting, Cotto fled the state and was found and arrested by Chicago police. He was extradited to Stearns County Jail where he is being held on $4 million unconditional bail or $2 million with conditions. Coleman is being held on $3 million unconditional or $2 million bail with conditions.

Paul E. Coleman – Stearns County Jail

Paul E. Coleman – Stearns County Jail

According to the complaints, footage from the home’s motion cameras shows Batsche alone in the backyard before the shooting. About 10 minutes later, the camera activated again showing Coleman and Cotto, near a detached garage facing the back door where the victim was found. Coleman could be seen holding what is believed to be a gun in his right hand. Coleman and Cotto could then be seen running towards a vehicle, registered to Coleman, with another man in the driver’s seat. As the men enter the vehicle, Coleman fires a bullet at the victim before driving off.

Records show a woman and her son found the victim and called the police. The woman told officers that Cotto was angry with Batsche and had argued with him several times in the days leading up to the shooting.

According to the complaint, authorities found Coleman at a St. Cloud home a few days later. Authorities say his clothes matched the clothes of one of the men who were filmed.

Police say Coleman appears to have taken drugs and was taken to St. Cloud Hospital. He denied his involvement in the shooting.

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