A 79-year-old veteran died earlier this month roughly a week after being punched repeatedly in the face in a road rage incident near Northfield.
Leslie Sanders, 52, of Faribault, is facing murder and assault charges in the connection to the July 6 beating of Larry Lynn Myers, also of Faribault, court documents filed in Rice County show.
According to a criminal complaint, Saunders attacked Myers on the morning of June 27 following a minor crash a few miles south of Northfield. Myers told responding officers that Saunders’ truck hit his SUV while Saunders tried to pass him on Canyon City Boulevard.
When they both turned onto Highway 3, Saunders got out of his truck, walked over to Myers’ SUV and began punching him repeatedly in the face, Myers said. Witnesses told investigators that they saw Saunders jump out of his truck while it was still moving and attack Myers. They said that Myers didn’t strike back.
While talking with officers after the attack, Myers was bleeding heavily, soaking a handkerchief held to his face in blood. Later, doctors at Northfield Hospital found that Myers had several broken bones in his face.
Myers was later transferred to Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, where it was determined that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury, the complaint states. The wounds prevented him from breathing and made it so that he could no longer take care of himself.
Following Myers’ end of life instructions, doctors removed him from life support Wednesday night.
According to an online obituary, Myers, originally from Jackson, Missouri, was a Vietnam War veteran and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1968, attaining the rank of staff sergeant, and receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal, among other recognitions.
He requested that his ashes spread at sea in the waters off Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If convicted of the second-degree murder charge, Sanders faces up to 40 years in prison. He is also facing first-degree and third-degree assault charges in connection to the incident.