On Friday, District Judge John Sandy filed a scheduling order to set a plea and sentencing hearing for 42yo Nathaniel Kassel of Rock Rapids in connection with the fatal shooting of his mother, 62yo Jody Duskin, last March in Sheldon. The hearing is scheduled to take place on September 18th at 8:30 am in O’Brien County District Court, with details of the plea agreement yet to be publicly released.


Kassel had initially pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge and was scheduled to stand trial next month. He was arrested two days after the shooting while in South Dakota, in possession of Duskin’s car and two guns stolen from her home.


Evidence of Kassel’s guilt emerged in the form of a message sent to family members the day before Duskin’s body was found, in which he said he was “killing Jody”. Hours later, he was reportedly overheard having a phone conversation in which he confessed to “making a mistake and hurting someone”.