REGIONAL BRIEFS: Man arrested in fatal hit-and-runSUPERIOR, Wis. -- Superior police have arrested a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run accident that occurred Friday night on the city’s north side. The victim was identified as Eugene David Renko, 61, of Superior.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Man arrested in fatal hit-and-run (DNT)
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- Superior police have arrested a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run accident that occurred Friday night on the city’s north side.
The victim was identified as Eugene David Renko, 61, of Superior.
Renko was struck about 9:30 p.m., and the driver of the large four-door sedan that hit him did not stop.
Superior police investigators located the vehicle in Rice Lake Township outside Duluth early Sunday. The man suspected of driving the car at the time of the accident, a 47-year-old Superior man, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Superior on preliminary charges of hit and run resulting in a death, a felony that can carry up to a 25-year prison sentence and fines up to $100,000.
Man sentenced for abuse at day care (FF)
MOORHEAD, Minn. – Parents of two young girls who were molested by their day care provider’s husband stood just feet away from the man in court Monday and lambasted him with emotionally charged statements before a judge sentenced him to 13 years and four months in prison.
The older of the two victims, who were 3 and 7 years old when the abuse took place, sat with her family in the courtroom as her mother castigated 54-year-old Jon Ralph Pabody.
“You are not a man. You are a monster,” the mother said in Clay County District Court.
Jon Ralph Pabody, 54, wept and nodded his head up and down in agreement. Later, he told Judge Galen Vaa that he wished he could do things over.
“I know they’re angry, and they have every right to be angry with me,” he said. “I’ve done something horrible.”
Pabody pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in each of the two separate cases His wife closed the Moorhead day care where the abuse occurred.
Driver in triple fatality to appear in court (WCT)
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Cokato man will make his first court appearance Tuesday on charges of criminal vehicular homicide for a crash that killed three people Friday east of Willmar.
According to a news release from County Attorney Jenna Fischer, Paul A. Wickenhauser, 21, will appear at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on three counts of criminal vehicular homicide for the deaths of Marta Stoffers, 68, of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, Michelle L. Hoffman, 40, of Eden Prairie, and Hoffman’s 8-year-old daughter.
Wickenhauser also will face a criminal vehicular injury charge for the injuries sustained by a second child.
The head-on crash happened about 9 p.m. Friday along U.S. Highway 12, with the van driven by Stoffers catching fire after it came to rest in a ditch, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
According to Fischer’s news release, Wickenhauser admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages prior to driving that evening. There was a broken alcohol container on the roadway, a bottle of rum in the cab of the pickup and a cooler of alcoholic beverages in the cargo area of the pickup. Wickenhauser was treated and released from Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail.
Woman pleads guilty in stabbing (DNT)
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- A Keewatin woman pleaded guilty Monday in Itasca County to stabbing a man during a domestic dispute after a day of drug use and drinking earlier this month.
Rae Lynn Butzbach, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm. Authorities had also charged her with assault in the first degree and a second count of assault in the second degree. Those two charges were dropped in exchange to the guilty plea on the one count.
Under the terms of the plea agreement — which a judge has to approve — Butzbach would be on supervised probation for 10 years. Conditions of probation include serving 180 days in jail, paying a $1,085 fine, completing and following the recommendations of a chemical dependency evaluation, taking prescribed medications in the proper amounts, and completing and following the recommendations of a psychological or diagnostic evaluation. Her use of drugs and alcohol would also be restricted and monitored with spot-checks.
Butzbach is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15.
According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were called to a Keewatin residence about 7:15 a.m. Aug. 8. The first officer to arrive was met by Ronald Wayne Carlisle, 49, of Jacobson, who staggered to the officer’s car with stab wounds in his chest and left arm and told the officer that “Rae Lynn went nuts and stabbed him.”
County attorney back on job after rehab (DNT)
DULUTH -- Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler returned to work in his office Monday after receiving treatment at Hazelden alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Center City, Minn.
A spokeswoman in Pertler’s office said Pertler wasn’t available for comment Monday.
Pertler, 48, of Cloquet, was stopped by a State Patrol trooper July 17 after other motorists and the trooper reported him driving erratically. The county attorney was charged with driving while impaired, refusing to submit to a chemical test, speeding, driving over the center line, failure to signal, possession of an open bottle and no proof of insurance. He had a blood-alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in State District Court in Duluth next month.
Pertler joined the Carlton County Attorney’s Office in 1995 and has been the county attorney since 2005. He was an instructor at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College from 2000 until late February, when he resigned after another incident involving alcohol.
He checked into Hazelden about a month ago.