Attempted murder charges: Plea deal motive for Winthrop shooting

Two people have been charged in Sibley County District Court in connection to a shooting last fall in Winthrop.

Keshaun Schelven Coatie, 24, of South St. Paul, was charged with felony first-degree attempted murder.

Coatie’s girlfriend, Brianna Nicole Watson, 26, of Richfield, faces charges of aiding and abetting attempted first-degree murder.

Coatie is accused of shooting Jessica Shay Holtz, then 23, in Winthrop, while Watson allegedly provided Coatie’s transportation.

According to a criminal complaint, Holtz told investigators she answered a knock on her door shortly after midnight on November 2, 2020.  Holtz said a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a medical-style facemask appeared to be disguising his voice as he asked for directions.  The man said “thank you,” pointed a gun at her, and shot her, according to the complaint.

Shay survived, despite suffering multiple gunshot wounds.  She was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center.  She told investigators she believed she had been shot by David Devor Harris or one of his friends.

Harris and Shay had been charged with felony theft in Sibley County earlier in the year.  Shay had recently entered a plea bargain to testify against Harris at trial.  Harris had allegedly told Shay “you’re either with me or against me and if you’re against me, I have a gun.”

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage and discovered a vehicle had been circling the victim’s residence at the time of the shooting.  The vehicle was registered to the sister of Brianna Watson, whom police say is in a relationship with Coatie.  Coatie is a friend and associate of Harris, according to court documents.

The complaint says Watson admitted to being the driver of the vehicle seen in the surveillance footage.  Watson also allegedly admitted to driving Coatie from the Twin Cities to Winthrop the night of the shooting.

Watson said she stopped on a dark street in Winthrop and Coatie instructed her to stay in the car, according to the complaint.  Court documents say Watson heard gunshots and Coatie returned to the vehicle after about four minutes.  Police say data retrieved from Waton’s cell phone corroborated with her statement.

Investigators say Watson’s phone data also showed she was in contact with David Harris’ girlfriend around the time of the shooting.  The charging document says Harris and his girlfriend were in Wisconsin at that time.

In March 2020, Holtz and Harris allegedly hatched a plan to steal thousands of dollars from a New Auburn gas station where Holtz was employed.

Warrants have been issued by Sibley County for Harris and Waton’s arrests.

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