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Beltrami County Court for week of May 11

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In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

Scott Lee Fairbanks, 32, of Deer River, pleaded guilty April 7 and was sentenced May 11 for felony theft. He was sentenced to 19 months in prison and was granted a stay for five years and five years of supervised probation.

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He must serve 53 days in jail with credit for 37 days served, pay a fine of $1,308 of which $500 is stayed, restitution reserved, remain law abiding, follow all instructions of probation, follow recommendations of evaluations, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, not enter bars or liquor stores, submit to random searches, not have drugs or alcohol at his residence, submit a DNA sample and have no contact with the Paul Bunyan Mall.

On Dec. 21, the manager of a store in the Paul Bunyan Mall called the Bemidji Police Department regarding a theft. He stated that he had just observed two individuals take a large yellow pin-ball type gumball machine from the hallway, in the mall and load it into the back of an SUV. Fairbanks said he and the other man had taken the gumball machine from the mall. They said it was a prank. The value of the machine was $3,500.

Takita Tashay Holmes, 27, of Chicago, pleaded guilty and was sentenced May 11 for felony issuing a dishonored check, more than $500. She was sentenced to one year in jail of which 329 days are stayed for two years and placed on probation to the court for two years.

She was given credit for 42 days served and ordered to pay a fine of $1,326.00.

Between Nov. 26, 2007, and March 22, numerous checks were written to various businesses in Beltrami County by Holmes on her bank account. All of the checks have been processed through normal banking channels and have been returned NSF. The total for the checks was $693.06.

Jason Eugene Norberg, 29, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty April 7 and was sentenced May 11 for felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison and was granted a stay of seven years and placed on supervised probation for seven years.

He must serve 89 days in jail with credit for 171 days served, pay a fine of $1,083, restitution reserved, follow recommendations of evaluation and complete aftercare, complete domestic abuse evaluation, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing and searches, submit a DNA sample, not enter any bars or liquor stores, not have any same or similar offenses, not have any contact with victim and must not have any aggressive contact with the victim or any member of her household.

At 10:07 p.m. Oct. 27, Beltrami County Law Enforcement received a call indicating that a man held a 9mm handgun to a woman's head. Beltrami Sheriff's deputies and Bemidji Police officers surrounded the house. The officers were able to remove a woman and two minor children. The woman said Norberg pulled out a 9mm silver pistol and placed it to her head. Norberg has a previous conviction for fifth-degree domestic assault and a disorderly conduct conviction. He is currently under a no-drink order.

Shannon Raye White, 33, of Remer, pleaded innocent on May 11 for felony check forgery. Her next court date will be June 30.

On May 5, 2008, a teacher at the Longville Elementary School reported someone had stolen her wallet and checkbook from her purse, in the classroom. Cass County Law Enforcement officials subsequently determined that a parent of one of the children in the teacher's classroom had stolen the wallet.

On May 6, 2008, White, presented a check in the amount of $368, from the stolen checkbook, at a local bank. The bank teller took her driver's license and called the bank the check was drawn on to verify funds. During this time, White, became nervous and left the bank. A witness told officers that White had access to the stolen checkbook.

Joshua Allen Church, 21, of Bagley, pleaded innocent May 11 to felony first-degree damage to property, felony possession of burglary or theft tools and misdemeanor theft. His next court date will be June 30.

According to the criminal complaint, at 2 a.m. Dec. 2, a Bemidji Police officer observed a man standing next to an ATM machine at a local bank. Upon seeing the officer, the male immediately ran from the location and jumped into a car. The officer observed that the ATM appeared to be damaged or broken. He initiated a traffic stop. The driver was directed to exit the vehicle and lie down on the ground. He was subsequently identified as Church. Church was asked why he was stopped and he replied that he "just broke into the ATM." Church was arrested and transported to the jail. The officer seized a large bolt cutter, a hammer with an orange handle with a broken head, a pry bar and three foam pads covered with duct tape. According to the complaint, Church admitted to breaking into the ATM in order to steal money. He admitted that was in the process of breaking through the machine when he was caught. He also admitted to committing several burglaries in Bemidji and breaking into coin machines in order to commit multiple acts of theft over the past two weeks. He broke into machines and vacuums at two gas stations and a laundromat and coin machines at a car wash with two accomplices. The damage to the ATM is estimated to be $8,000.

In a separate incident, he pleaded innocent May 11 to three counts of felony first-degree damage to property. His next court date will be June 30.

Throughout November, ongoing reports of acts of vandalism and theft at a number of gas stations and convenience stores were received by Bemidji Law Enforcement. A subsequent investigation established that John Conrad Weber, who has subsequently been convicted, Church and a third minor male individual committed several acts of vandalism and theft by intentionally damaging coin operated car care services at multiple locations.

In a separate incident, he pleaded innocent on May 11 for gross misdemeanor financial transaction card fraud.

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 29, a man individual reported he had lost his checkbook and credit cards at the mall. The individual cancelled his credit cards and the checks remaining on his account and then discovered that two of the credit cards had been used on Dec. 26 at a gas station and a store. A subsequent investigation, established that Church discovered the lost credit cards and used them without permission. Church provided a statement on March 1, in which he stated that he used the credit cards on Dec. 26-27, the complaint states. He is accused of purchasing merchandise from clothing stores and a gas station, amounting to more than $300.

Thomas Andrew Holum, 48, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent May 11, to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI - refusal to submit and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation, inimical to public safety. His next court date will be June 30.

According to the criminal complaint, at 12:52 a.m. Feb. 15, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle traveling approximately 40-45 miles per hour on U.S. Highway 2 West. The vehicle appeared to be jerking back and forth it its lane of travel. At the intersection with Adams Avenue, the vehicle stopped in the right-hand turn lane, even thought the signal permitted him to continue on. The deputy initiated a traffic stop. The driver told the deputy he did not have a driver's license, but identified himself as Holum. The deputy observed odor alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Holum admitted to having consumed alcohol that evening. He was able to produce a Minnesota identification card. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .237. He was arrested and transported to the jail, where he refused to submit to a breath test, "Cuz I don't have a cigarette." His driver's license was cancelled as inimical to public safety in 1984 and has never been reinstated. He has two prior DWI convictions since the suspension.

Justin James Martine, 28, of Bagley, pleaded guilty and was sentenced May 11 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days are stayed for four years, and placed on probation to the courts for four years, to be served concurrently with another case.

He must serve 11 days in jail with credit for 19 days served, pay a fine of $833, Sentence to Serve granted, complete treatment and aftercare, not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, submit to random testing, not enter bars or liquor stores, not have any driver's license violations, have valid insurance and not have any same or similar offenses.

At 4:30 p.m. April 23, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a report of a vehicle stuck in the ditch near Stone Lake Road. The caller indicated the driver of the car might be intoxicated. Upon, arriving at the scene, the deputy found that the vehicle had driven out of the ditch and away from the scene. Witnesses stated that the occupants of the vehicle were intoxicated. The deputy found the vehicle on the shoulder of Stone Lake Road and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle drove away rapidly. The vehicle stopped on the 1900 block of Stone Lake Road, and the deputy was able to identify the driver as Martine. The deputy observed odor alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Martine admitted that he had been drinking that day. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .139. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. The deputy was informed that Martine may have taken prescription psychiatric medications. Based on this information, Martine was transported to North Country Regional Hospital. He provided a urine sample and admitted to taking two Lorazepam tablets with alcohol prior to his contact with the deputies. Warnings are listed for this medication, not to consume alcohol or operate a vehicle. He has two prior DWI convictions.

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