Man charged in Rossing's kidnapping no stranger to violence

It has been 5 months since Howard Lake, Minn. man Christopher Rossing went missing. Police believe Robert Nuttall beat Rossing to death after a disagreement in a bar, and then tried to dispose of the body by burning it.

Investigators have not been able to pull any DNA from remains found in a Hutchinson fire pit. Nuttall is charged with kidnapping Rossing, and his girlfriend Gwen Butcher is charged with obstruction. A review of court and police records shows Nuttall is not new to fights, and while he may not always start them, when he is involved, they often end the same way: someone else getting stitches, broken bones, or worse.

March 2012, Annandale

At an apartment complex in Annandale, a man received 20 stitches, blaming Nuttall for kicking him in the head with a boot. The victim had a blood alcohol content of .267, no charges were filed due to conflicting witness statements.

August 2013, Hutchinson

Police were called to a domestic, and report Nuttall throwing one of his then-fiancee's kids into a chest, another into a chair. Nuttall was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault.

November 2013, Howard Lake

An argument inside the municipal liquor store led to a fight outside near Highway 12. The complaint says Nuttall hit the victim "over the head with a beer mug and struck him 5 to 6 five times" just as Butcher pulled up in a car. This resulted in 20 stitches for the victim and felony assault charges for Nuttall.

That's almost exactly what police believe happened to Rossing. An altercation in a bar, the American Legion, leading to a fight outside by Highway 12, and Butcher pulling up around the time Nuttall was on the attack, only in Rossing's case, he was never seen again.

January 2014, Howard Lake

Nuttall was involved in a fight at the Howard Lake municipal liquor store again. A victim ended up with a broken nose and two front teeth missing. Nuttall was charged with felony assault.

Rossing's family and friends say they wish the law would have stopped Nuttall before he ever encountered Rossing, but they hope, because of him, the outcome of Nuttall's trial means he never spills blood again.

Trial next month

The felony assault charges for the fights in Howard Lake are still pending and the Wright County attorney said they're on the back burner while he prepares for Nuttall's trial next month.

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