REGIONAL BRIEFS: Minnesota man sentenced for attackA Cass Lake, Minn., man was ordered Monday to serve nine years in prison for trying to kill the husband of a woman he was infatuated with.
Minnesota man sentenced for attack
WALKER, Minn. – A Cass Lake, Minn., man was ordered Monday to serve nine years in prison for trying to kill the husband of a woman he was infatuated with.
John Ernest Lutgen, 25, received consecutive sentences on the charges – 90 months for third-degree attempted murder and 18 months for first-degree burglary during a court hearing in Walker. Lutgen had pleaded guilty to both counts. According to a news release, Lutgen had “an apparent infatuation with the victim’s wife,” whom Lutgen had been communicating with through a social networking site.
Lutgen entered the Cass Lake home of Paul and Karen Mix twice in the early morning hours of Dec. 23, returning through a pet access door after the woman escorted him out the first time. Karen Mix saw Lutgen hitting her husband on the head with a piece of wood and kicking him before he fled out of a window.
Officers said the Paul Mix suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, and Lutgen apparently repeatedly yelled “Die!” while beating him.
City council votes to fund events center study
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- A study to explore the benefits of building an event center in Alexandria has received a $10,000 boost from the Alexandria City Council Monday night.
An event center steering committee had requested the city contribute $21,000 to a feasibility study that’s estimated to cost $50,000. The committee has already raised $29,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation and Alexandria Hotel and Hospitality.
Some council members expressed a preference for local businesses paying for the study.
Although not discussed Monday night, the location of an event center and who would pay for it are still up in the air. One possibility is to expand the Runestone Community Center, but the feasibility study is expected to explore other options as well.
Man arrested for threats against communications company
DULUTH -- A 27-year-old Duluth man is in jail pending felony charges of making terroristic threats after allegedly saying he was going to burn or blow up the Charter Communications building in Duluth, then showing up at that facility this morning.
Steven Saari was upset over his Internet service, Duluth Police said in a news release. He is being held at the St. Louis County Jail.
Police were called to the building shortly before 8 a.m. The incident began when a Charter contact center adviser received a call from a Duluth customer threatening to harm the Duluth office and its employees, said Heather Nessler, a Charter spokeswoman in Rochester, Minn.
Employees in the Duluth office were notified immediately and were evacuated to a safe location nearby, Nessler said.
A Charter technical supervisor in Duluth had seen a man in a pickup truck parked in the lot in front of the building, Nessler said. She said the man left the truck before police arrived, but he was apprehended and taken into custody.
Charter provides cable TV and Internet service in the city of Duluth and surrounding areas.
Some streets in the area were closed for a time during the incident.
Man accused in assault, standoff
A Thief River Falls, Minn., man is accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend, threatening to kill her and sticking a gun in her mouth, leading to a 15-hour standoff this past weekend, according to police.
Marcus Brian Williamson, 26, is expected to appear in court today or Thursday to face charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree assault and kidnapping in state district court in Thief River Falls.
According to the criminal complaint, Williamson’s girlfriend told police that she and Williamson got in an argument Saturday afternoon at their home in Thief River Falls. The complaint said he assaulted her and she tried to leave, but he chased her down and dragged her back in the house. Back in the house, he threatened her, putting a pistol in her mouth and also pointing a rifle at her, the complaint said. Then he sexually assaulted the woman.
She snuck out after he fell asleep, first going to a friend’s house before reporting the incident to police.
Police arrived at Williamson’s home at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, but he wasn’t willing to talk to officers or let them in. At 4:15 a.m. Monday, officers ended the standoff by breaking down the door and arresting Williamson.
Man sentenced for drive-by shooting
BEMIDJI – A 38-year-old Bemidji, Minn. man has been sentenced to 64 months in prison for a drive-by shooting in December.
Edward Michael Halvorson was sentenced July 2 by Beltrami County District Court Judge Shari Schluchter to 64 months in prison for felony dangerous weapons – drive-by shooting toward a person, occupied motor vehicle or occupied building. Halvorson pleaded guilty to the charge in May.
No one in the home was injured. Halvorson’s father, 71-year-old Darwyn Michael Halvorson, was sentenced in April for felony aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
Lake death ruled a drowning
BAGLEY, Minn. -- A man found by a boater Sunday in Bagley's Lake Lemond died by drowning, the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Chief Deputy Todd Spray said the death is not suspicious, but authorities are waiting to release the identity of the man, who is in his 20s, until family members can be notified.
More details will be released Wednesday, he said.
Sheriff's officials responded to a call about 3:30 p.m. Sunday after a boater reported finding a body floating in the lake.
Deputies and Bagley police officers responded and recovered the body.
Arrest made after house fire
GRANITE FALLS — The State Fire Marshal’s office and the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s office are investigating a fire that burned a rural Clarkfield residence about11:15 p.m. Monday.
Sheriff Bill Flaten said an arrest has been made in connection to the blaze. The Clarkfield Fire Department and Ambulance, along with the Granite Falls Ambulance, were also called to the scene. Check for update
Boat harbor closed because of snails
LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH – The Chippewa National Forest announced the seasonal closure of the West Winnie Forest Service Campground boat harbor due to an exotic species of snail found at the access.
An alternate boat access near the site will be opened, though people using the dock should keep an eye on the weather as the dock is unprotected by the harbor, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Chippewa National Forest.
The exotic Faucet Snail has been found in large numbers at the West Winnie launch site, where vegetation is thick and provides habitat for this small invasive species. Because of the vegetation, it is easy for boats and props to pick up the faucet snails and transport them to other lakes.
Faucet snails have been the cause of large waterfowl die-off in past years on Lake Winnie. Boaters in the West Winnie area are asked to carefully inspect their boats and trailers for faucet snails.
For more information, call the Blackduck Ranger District at (218) 835-4291 or check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources webpage for detailed information on the faucet snail threat.
Judge reassigned after harassment investigation
FARGO, N.D. – An investigation into sexual harassment allegations by a court reporter against District Judge Wickham Corwin resulted in him being reassigned to a team that doesn’t include the woman, according to court officials and an 83-page report on the probe.
Corwin told investigators that while he hoped to have an affair with the woman, who he kissed at his home after a bicycle ride together two years ago. He said he didn’t intend to start the affair right away and she misunderstood his intentions.
What he said were repeated attempts to talk to the woman to clear up the matter were characterized by her as an attempt to frighten and intimidate her because she didn’t go along with his advances.
“While Judge Corwin did not intend to threaten (the woman) or make her work environment uncomfortable, his actions had that effect,” the report concluded.
The State Court Administrator’s Office investigated the matter and submitted its findings in a March 14 report, which became public after 90 days.
Corwin, who was previously paired with Judge Wade Webb, has been reassigned and paired with Judge John Irby. Webb is now paired with Judge Frank Racek, and the woman continues to report for Webb and Racek, said Rod Olson, trial court administrator for the East Central Judicial District.
Fargo couple arrested in Indiana
FARGO – A man and woman who went on the run after the woman’s daughter told police he sexually assaulted her have been arrested in Indiana.
A warrant for the arrest of Anthony Sells, 37, was issued in Cass County District Court last week charging him with gross sexual imposition of a victim who was less than 15 years old, a Class AA felony. His girlfriend, the victim’s mother, a 34-year-old Fargo woman, was charged with a felony charge of hindering law enforcement.
Deputy U.S. marshals and officers with the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested the couple about 8 a.m. Tuesday at a hotel in Merrillville, Ind., where they were staying.
Missing woman located in Arizona
VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- A Valley City woman missing for nearly a week has been located in Arizona, according to Fred Thompson, Valley City police chief.
Amber Glatt, 22, was reported missing on the evening of July 4 by her boyfriend. Glatt, a student at Valley City State University for two years, has had a brain injury and has experienced episodes of amnesia in the past.
Cmdr. Rex Gilliland of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona verified that his office had located Glatt near the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
“Amber is physically fine,” Gilliland said. He added that she would be taken to a hospital for observation.
Gilliland said Glatt’s presence in the area was reported by Larry Turk. Glatt and Turk had met in a bar in North Dakota and traveled to the Grand Canyon area where Turk had a job, Gilliland said.
Man shoots wife, himself
FARGO – Police believe a husband fatally shot his wife in their south Fargo home before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
The couple - Daniel and Linda Williams - were found dead this morning in their home at 1830 16½ St. S. Officers were called at 8:06 a.m. after a family member of the woman was notified by her employer that she didn’t show up for work, Lt. Joel Vettel said.
Deputy Chief Pat Claus said in a news conference this afternoon that neither Daniel or Linda Williams was at work on Monday, and police are still trying to establish when they died.
Lead develops in missing woman case
GRAND FORKS -- An Ardoch, N.D., woman missing since October was last seen at a Missoula, Mont., gas station with another woman that law enforcement officials are now looking for, according to the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department.
“This was a recent acquaintance,” said Sgt. Dan Hillebrand. “We have a possible name and we’re attempting to locate this individual.”
Florence Dumontet, 82, was on her way to Washington state when she went missing.
Montana law enforcement originally tracked her to a gas station in Butte, Mont., on the evening of Oct. 16, more than 15 hours after she left Ardoch early that morning.
But a manager at Muralt’s Travel Plaza in Missoula, 118 miles west of Butte, said he believes he saw Dumontet about 10 a.m. Oct. 17.
Montana officials have mounted multiple air searches for Dumontet and the 2008 black Lincoln Mark LT crew-cab pickup she was driving, focused on the stretch of highway from Butte to Missoula.