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Velure pleads in RF shooting

A River Falls man charged in the shooting death of a friend pleaded not guilty to two felony charges Friday afternoon in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Anthony Palmer Velure, 26, faces one count of a first-degree reckless homicide and one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a weapon, a charge that was added just prior to the 1 p.m. arraignment hearing July 22.

Judge Eric J. Lundell set a pre-trial hearing for 4 p.m. Aug. 24. Assistant District Attorney Frank Collins is prosecuting the case. Hudson attorney Mark J. Gherty is defending Velure.

The criminal complaint alleges Velure shot and killed Joshua R. Kurer, 24, with a .410 round from a multi-caliber handgun that Velure thought was empty during an incident at a River Falls apartment June 27.

Velure, who had served with Kurer in the military, admitted to police he had several drinks before he came over to Kurer's apartment at about 10:30 p.m. with the intent of persuading his friend to go downtown.

During the course of that conversation, Velure took the hand gun that was in the apartment, assumed he emptied all six rounds into his pocket, pointed the gun at Kurer and snapped the trigger on an empty chamber, the criminal complaint said.

He repeated the action when a shotgun round went off and hit Kurer in the chest. He was declared dead when police arrived.

Velure told police he and Kurer had both pointed firearms at each other in the past when the firearms were empty and had pulled the trigger at least "half a dozen times."

The court continued a cash bond of $10,000 and signature bond of $10,000 and approved several new persons, relatives and a long-time friend, one of whom he must be in the company of to leave his parents' house in River Falls where he currently resides.

Velure is seeking counseling from the Veterans Administration either at Ft. Snelling or St. Cloud, Minn., according to court testimony. His father may have to undergo surgery in St. Paul. Under the new bond modifications, Velure will be allowed to visit him if the situation arises.