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LITTLE CANADA, Minn. - Authorities have charged a Little Canada man with murder for allegedly pushing another man into incoming traffic in Little Canada.

Forty-one-year-old Michael John Merten III was charged with second-degree murder Friday in the death of 47-year-old Robert Hilgren, of Vadnais Heights, on Wednesday night.

The criminal complaint says Hilgren was trying to protect his 23-year-old son, who allegedly was being chased by Merten. They got into a scuffle. Hilgren's wife told authorities that Merten waited for a car to approach before pushing Hilgren into its path. The car struck Hilgren, and he died later at Regions Hospital.

The complaint says Merten's father told police his son had confronted three guys because they looked suspicious, and that they had ganged up on him before one was struck by a car.

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