REGIONAL BRIEFS: Totem pole trial moved to BemidjiINTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. -- If the 17-foot log totem pole-in-progress that Carl Muggli is accused of using to slay his wife is introduced into evidence as a murder weapon, it will probably have to be transported from International Falls to Bemidji.
Credit: Forum Communications
Drug ringleader pleads guilty
FARGO — A Grand Forks, N.D., man pleaded guilty Monday to making and distributing the hallucinogens that killed two teenagers in June.
Andrew Spofford’s deal with the U.S. attorney’s office states he will spend at least 20 years in prison, said U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson, who scheduled Spofford’s sentencing for Jan. 24. Erickson told Spofford, 22, that the court is not bound by the terms of the plea agreement.
Spofford also pleaded guilty to a fifth count, a misdemeanor alleging he introduced a “mis-branded” drug into the United States.
Spofford has been characterized in court as the center of a drug ring in which 10 people have been charged so far by Chris Myers, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case.
Six others have pleaded guilty with another scheduled to plead guilty today.
Spofford admitted Monday that drugs he made and distributed were ingested June 11 by Christian Bjerk, 18, and and two days later by Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minn., in East Grand Forks, Minn. Bjerk and Stai died at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
Man pleads in death of Fargo guitarist
FARGO —Seth Lund pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to injecting a popular Fargo blues guitar player with a fatal dose of heroin.
Lund, 25, admitted he was in a Fargo residence June 6 with Cody Connor and Nicole Wadsworth, 24, of Grand Forks, and Nathan Evenson, 27, of Fargo.
Because Connor “was afraid of needles but addicted to heroin,” Lund injected a needle into Connor’s arm, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers in court.
Connor, 30, died shortly after from an overdose.
The deal Lund struck with prosecutors is to serve seven years in prison for the charge of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it. The maximum penalty is 20 years. District Judge Ralph Erickson told Lund he is not bound by the terms of the plea agreement in deciding the sentence.
Wadsworth and Evenson pleaded not guilty earlier this month to the more serious charges of providing heroin that led to the death of Connor.
Myers says Wadsworth and Evenson were responsible for bringing the heroin to Fargo from the Twin Cities. Their trial is scheduled for Dec. 11.
Bakken Investor Connection scheduled for December
MINOT, N.D. – An event to connect real estate investors and developers interested in doing business in the Bakken is planned for Dec. 4-5 at the Sleep Inn in Minot.
The Bakken Investor Connection will provide informational market updates and a forum to network and conduct business.
The event is organized by DAWA Solutions Group, which also sponsors an investor conference, housing summit and trade show.
For more information or to register, visit www.BakkenInvestorConnection.com.
Totem pole trial moved to Bemidji
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. -- If the 17-foot log totem pole-in-progress that Carl Muggli is accused of using to slay his wife is introduced into evidence as a murder weapon, it will probably have to be transported from International Falls to Bemidji.
After ruling last month that prejudicial pretrial publicity against Muggli required that the case be moved to another county to obtain a fair and impartial trial, State District Court Judge Charles LeDuc has now ordered that the trial be held at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, 114 miles southwest of the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls.
Muggli, 50, is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and intentional second-degree murder in the Nov. 26, 2010, death of his wife, Linda, 61, who died of severe head trauma when the 17-foot log the couple had been carving for a totem pole landed on her.
The trial is scheduled to start Jan. 14.
Search suspended for man missing in Roseau County
ROSEAU, Minn. -- Roseau County officials said Monday there will be no more organized searches for a man missing since Aug. 11.
Another organized attempt to search for Donald Dugger was conducted Saturday, five miles south of the Roseau County line, officials said. No new evidence about Dugger’s whereabouts was found.
Dugger has been missing since Aug. 11.
A decision was made by the family and the Roseau County Sheriff’s office to discontinue any further searching after Saturday’s search. Last week, a sleeve from a camouflaged sweatshirt was found 5 miles south of the county line.
However, officials are requesting that deer hunters watch for anything unusual during the season and report any findings to the Roseau County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 463-1421.
Donations sought for rescued horses
WILLMAR, Minn. — Three horses are in the care of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties after being surrendered over the weekend by their Kerkhoven, Minn., owners.
The two mares and one colt were suffering from neglect and in need of veterinary care, Steve Gardner, chairman of the Humane Society Board, said Monday.
Gardner said both mares were thin, and one of them may be pregnant. The colt has a deep wound on one leg and might not survive, he said.
The Humane Society is appealing to the public for help with veterinary costs and placement for the horses when they recover.
The bill could reach $1,000 to $1,500 per animal, Gardner said. “We don’t budget for this kind of thing… We could really use some help.”
Members of the public who can help are asked to call the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter at 320-235-7612. Donations to defray the cost of veterinary care may be sent to the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties, Box 709, Willmar, Minn. 56201.
Minnesotan to lead ag law group
LAKEFIELD, Minn. — The American Agricultural Law Association has elected Patrick Costello, a Lakefield attorney, as president of the organization for 2014-2015.
Costello, a partner in the law firm of Costello, Carlson & Butzon, LLP, will lead the organization as president-elect and president for the next two years. He is a past director of the AALA. With a membership of more than 900 attorneys, economists and members of academia, the AALA is the only national professional organization focusing on legal needs of the agricultural community.
As president, Costello will preside over the 12-member board of directors and promote the association.
(DG, filed Saturday)
Grant to help fire recovery
KARLSTAD, Minn. -- The Northwest Minnesota Foundation recently gave $10,000 to Northwest Community Action to aid Karlstad, Minn., after a fire this month.
The city of Karlstad was damaged by a severe wildfire in early October. Several buildings suffered damage and a mandatory evacuation for part of the community was ordered.
The NWCA will provide vouchers for food, clothing, transportation and short-term housing rentals. The grant is being added to an additional $10,000 the NWCA is providing for emergency aid, bringing the total to $20,000.