Bayfield County Sheriff

A 62-year-old Bayfield man arrested Friday night in the shooting death of another Bayfield man had a longstanding feud with the dead man and a restraining order against him.

Randy Erickson remained in the Bayfield County Jail Sunday following the death of 64-year-old Michael Kinney. Kinney was pronounced dead a short time after police and emergency crews were called to the report of a shooting Friday near Kinney’s residence.

The Bayfield County Sheriff's Department named those involved in a Sunday press release but did not return calls seeking additional information.

In October of 2018, Erickson, owner of C&W Trucking in Bayfield, filed for a restraining order against Kinney, claiming that Kinney had harassed him and made a veiled death threat against him, according to court records.

Kinney, whose land lies adjacent to the C&W Trucking property, was upset about a culvert and other issues regarding the road they shared, Erickson testified. At some point, he told a judge, "put fire dept. boots under big rock on hill, named R. Erickson," records said.

Erickson also testified that Kinney had made repeated "slanderous" complaints to the Department of Natural Resources and other government agencies regarding Erickson and his business. 

Erickson said the harassment put him under great stress and he was afraid Kinney was "putting himself in harm's way" to escalate their dispute.

A judge in 2018 approved a four-year restraining order against Kinney, finding "the rock/fireboots incident is harassment." It was the second injunction that ordered Kinney to stay away from Erickson, records said.

The Bayfield County Sheriff’s said in the Sunday release that  Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Lab personnel and a Wisconsin State Patrol reconstructionist were at the scene gathering evidence.  

An autopsy was to be completed Sunday at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. The release said the department expected to have the investigation substantially completed by the end of this week.       


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