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Beltrami County District Court

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

John Joseph Kingbird III, 35, of Bemidji, was convicted Sept. 29 by a jury of gross misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer in apprehension of another and misdemeanor domestic assault. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 26.

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At 1:24 a.m. June 1, Bemidji Police officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance. A woman said Kingbird was drunk, violent and belligerent and had pushed her down, injuring her. She said Kingbird left the home when she called 911, but she believed he was nearby waiting for the police to leave so she could return home. The police found Kingbird by using a thermal imager. He refused an order from an officer to lie on the ground. When the officer tried to put Kingbird on the ground physically, Kingbird grabbed the officer and pulled the officer down. Kingbird also grabbed the officer's duty belt in the area of the officer's handgun. Kingbird was Tasered, arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail.

Allison Rae Strand, 24, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 30 for an amended charge of interfering with emergency communication. A misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault was dismissed.

She was sentenced to 90 days in jail with 90 days stayed for one year on the following conditions: She must serve one year of probation to the court; undergo anger management training; have no contact with the victims; not enter the Bemidji Elks Club; have no same or similar offenses; and pay $483 in fines and costs.

At 9:49 p.m. Jan. 17, Bemidji Police officers responded to a report of vandalism at the Bemidji Elks Club. When officers arrived, they were informed that Strand had assaulted a man by punching him in the face six or seven times. When he tried to call 911, she grabbed the phone, threw it down the stairs and stomped on it.

Damascus Troy Williams, 46, of Pennington, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 30 for gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail stayed for one year of the following conditions: He must serve one year of probation to the court; not drive without insurance; have no driver's license violations; no same or similar offenses; and pay fine and costs of $283.

At 7:58 p.m. Dec. 31, a Beltrami County deputy stopped Williams at Power Dam Road Northeast and Mission Road Northeast for having no light on the rear license plate and signaling right, but turning left. Williams' driving privileges were cancelled as inimical to public safety in 1992 and never reinstated.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:

Lucas Todd Johnson, 18, of Leonard, pleaded not guilty Sept. 28 to fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 20.

According to the criminal complaint, at 12:25 a.m. Aug. 6, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy on patrol near Pinewood saw a vehicle traveling illegally on an all-terrain vehicle trail in a reckless manner. The deputy followed and signaled a traffic stop, but the vehicle sped up to 65 mph and then to 85-90 mph and continued on to Bunker Hill Road Northwest in Roosevelt Township. The vehicle then took a primitive wet, muddy trail. The deputy's car got stuck, as did a backup deputy in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The deputies spent several hours getting out of the trail. Meanwhile, according to the complaint, the mother of the passenger in Johnson's vehicle arranged for a peaceful surrender in Leonard. Johnson was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail.

Wendell Rodney Blue, 38, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 28 for gross misdemeanor second-degree driving while intoxicated - refusal to submit to chemical test - with two or more aggravating factors.

He was sentenced to one year in jail with 10 months and 16 days stayed for four years on the following conditions: He must serve one month and 14 days in jail; serve four years probation to the court; undergo a chemical dependency evaluation/treatment within 60 days; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; not possess alcohol and drugs; submit to random testing; remain law-abiding and pay $1,108 in fine and costs.

At 3:27 a.m. Aug. 30, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy on patrol on state Highway 197 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 71 saw a vehicle signal and turn too fast for the corner onto Highway 71 from Highway 2. The vehicle traveled at speeds up to 90 mph, but stopped near the 15th Street Northwest exit. The deputy observed the odor of alcohol on the driver, identified as Blue, and mumbled speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Blue failed field sobriety tests and refused to undergo a preliminary breath test. He was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail, where he refused to submit to urine or blood tests. His license was revoked at the time of the arrest and his has two prior DWI convictions from May 1986 and January 2008.

Kalie Ann Sagedahl, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Sept. 14 and was sentenced Sept. 29 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI with two aggravating factors.

She was sentenced to one year in jail with 10 months and 10 days stayed for four years on the following conditions: She must serve four years of supervised probation; not consume alcohol or controlled substances; not enter bars or liquor stores; undergo random testing; remain law-abiding; not drive without insurance; have no driver's license violations; and pay fine and costs of $1,108. She will serve the sentence consecutive to two other sentences.

At 4:45 p.m. Aug. 27, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper responded to a report of a reckless driver traveling east on U.S. Highway 2 from state Highway 89. The driver was swerving around on the highway and struck construction cones. The driver continued to Grass Lake Trailer Park, where she stopped, exited the vehicle, lay on the ground and pulled her pants down to her knees. The vehicle was still running at the time. The trooper observed the odor of alcohol and that Sagedahl had glassy, watery eyes and was unsteady. She failed field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test. She was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail and offered the chance to make a phone call. She couldn't punch the buttons but just hit numbers randomly. She told the arresting officer she needed to use the restroom and started to pull her pants down in the Intoxilyzer room. A female officer took Sagedahl to the restroom. She measured .36 on the Intoxilyzer test. She had a valid driver's license at the time of her arrest. She has one prior DWI conviction from August 2008 and a conviction of under-21 drinking and driving from September 2008.

Mickey Earl May, 21, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty Aug. 25 and was sentenced Sept. 29 for felony second-degree burglary - possession of tools - and misdemeanor domestic assault. The charge of felony first-degree burglary - assault of a person in a building was dismissed at sentencing.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and must serve 10 years of supervised probation. Successful completion of probation will result in the reduction of the conviction to a misdemeanor. He must undergo chemical dependency evaluation; anger management training; stay a reasonable distance from the victim's home unless a written schedule is filed with his probation agent and approved by the victim; undergo random searches and testing; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; submit a DNA sample; not ship, transport, possess or receive firearms or ammunition; and pay fine and costs of $1,083.

On Dec. 28, Bemidji Police officers responded to a domestic assault and burglary on the 500 block of 12th Street Northwest in Bemidji. The officer arrived on the scene at 6 a.m. and was met by a woman who informed the officers that she had been asleep in an upstairs bedroom at her friend's house. She heard pounding coming from an exterior door. She heard it open and May entered the residence without permission. May entered her bedroom. She told May she did not want to speak with him and demanded that he leave the residence. He approached her, grabbed her hair and assaulted her by pulling it. The woman asked a friend to call the police. May approached the woman calling the police and scuffled with her, causing her to drop the phone and disconnect the line. May fled the scene.

Jared Lee Westbrook, 25, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Aug. 25 and was sentenced Sept. 30 for felony first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling. A felony charge of felony fifth-degree drug possession was dismissed at sentencing.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison with the sentence stayed for five years on the following conditions: He must serve 15 days in jail with credit for 10 days served; serve five years of supervised probation; undergo aftercare; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; not be in the presence of anyone consuming alcohol or controlled substances; undergo random searches and testing; remain law abiding; submit a DNA sample; and pay or work off with community service fine and costs of $1,083.

At 4:30 a.m. April 11, Bemidji Police officers responded to a residence in the 900 block of 30th Street Northwest. The female caller said Westbrook was trying to break into her home. Officers arrived and found Westbrook in the entrance to the residence. Westbrook was arrested and, in a search during his arrest, a pair of brass knuckles were found, as well as two pills identified as morphine sulfate, a Schedule II controlled substance, for which he does not have a prescription. He has prior convictions for second-degree burglary and terroristic threats in Beltrami County and is currently on probation in Cass County.

Craig Vincent Sayers, 39, of Red Lake, was found guilty by a jury Sept. 3 and sentenced Sept. 29 for felony fifth-degree drug possession.

He was sentenced to 15 months in prison with the sentence stayed for five years on the following conditions: He must serve 45 days in jail; serve five years of supervised probation; undergo chemical dependency evaluation/treatment/aftercare; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; not be in the presence of anyone consuming alcohol and controlled substances; not enter bars and liquor stores; undergo random searches and testing; submit a DNA sample; and pay or work off with community service fine and costs of $1,080.

At 6 p.m. May 2, 2008, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was on routine patrol when he observed a vehicle with excessive tint on its windows and no license plate in the front. The trooper initiated a stop and identified the driver as Sayers. The window tint measured 13 percent, which exceeds the limit. Sayers was asked to step out of the vehicle and when he did so he dropped a napkin on the seat that contained a pill. Sayers was placed in the squad car and the trooper went back to find the pill. The pill was not in the car, and a front-seat passenger said he never saw a pill. The vehicle was searched and marijuana cigarettes, rolling papers and 10 grams of marijuana were found, as well as white debris in a cup. Sayers began to fidget in the back seat of the squad car and was removed from the vehicle. A tablet of Hydrocodone was found on the seat.

Brandon Joseph Rossbach, 25, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 28 to felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor fifth-degree assault. His jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 17.

According to the criminal complaint, at 2:10 a.m. Sept. 13, Bemidji Police officers responded to a call from Bemidji State University Birch Hall where two men were suffering from punches to their faces. The men said they had been to a party in the 1000 block of Rice Avenue Northwest when Rossbach started throwing punches at people. One of the victims suffered a broken jaw and required medical treatment at North Country Regional Hospital. The other man suffered a bruised face.

Travis Dean Glass, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 29 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI - refusal to submit to chemical testing - and misdemeanor driving after suspension of license.

On the gross misdemeanor conviction, he was sentenced to one year in jail with 11 months and 19 days stayed for three years on the following conditions: He must serve 12 days in jail with work release if eligible; serve three years of probation to the court; have no same or similar offenses; and pay or work off with community service fine and costs of $858.

On the misdemeanor conviction, he must serve 30 days in jail with 18 days stayed for one year and pay fine and costs of $208. The same conditions apply as for the gross misdemeanor conviction. The sentences are to run concurrently.

At 1:22 a.m. June 30, a Bemidji Police officer on routine patrol on Irvine Avenue Northwest near the intersection of state Highway 197 recognized Glass' vehicle and knew his license was suspended. The officer made a traffic stop, identified Glass and observed the odor of alcohol and that he had bloodshot, watery eyes. Glass failed the field sobriety test and registered .213 on a preliminary breath test. Glass was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he refused the Intoxilyzer test.

Roger Joseph Wakonabo, 21, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty June 2 and was sentenced Sept. 29 for an amended charge of gross misdemeanor obstruction of a peace officer with force or violence, an amended charge of misdemeanor domestic assault and misdemeanor fourth-degree intentional damage to property. He was originally charged with felony fourth-degree assault of a peace officer causing demonstrable bodily harm, gross misdemeanor fifth-degree assault and misdemeanor fourth-degree damage to property.

On the obstruction conviction, he was sentenced one year in jail with eight months and 11 days stayed for two years on the following conditions: He must serve two years of supervised probation; complete aftercare; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; not be in the presence of anyone consuming alcohol and controlled substances; not enter bars and liquor stores; undergo random searches and testing; have no contact with the victim unless it is for official business; remain law abiding; and pay fine and costs of $583.

On the misdemeanor convictions, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

At 12:15 am. April 4, a Bemidji Police officer received a radio request from another officer. The officer was conducting a traffic stop in the 900 block of 30th Street Northwest when he was approached by a man with bloody hands. He was later identified as Wakonabo. The officer drew his Taser and ordered Wakonabo to the ground. While being handcuffed, Wakonabo spat on officers. He was arrested for fourth-degree assault of a peace officer. He continued to be belligerent, threatening to cut their heads off and calling them derogatory names. He was transported to Beltrami County Jail. The officers followed the blood trail from 30th Street to an apartment nearby. A man answered the door and said Wakonabo had broken the window out and assaulted him. Wakonabo left the apartment and returned about five minutes later and broke out the front window of the apartment with his fist.

Raymond Whitfield Sr., 36, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Aug. 17 and was sentenced Sept. 28 for felony identity theft - transfer, possess, use the identity of another person.

He was sentenced to 19 months in prison with credit for 139 days served, restitution was reserved and fine and costs totaled $133.

On Jan. 14, a detective from the Bemidji Police Department met with a woman regarding correspondence received in regard to a credit card taken out in her 3-year-old son's name. On Feb. 5, the detective contacted the credit card company and confirmed that there were eight separate attempt for credit from Oct. 26 to Nov. 10, 2008, and one of those applications had been accepted Oct. 26. All applications were sent via the Internet using the names and Social Security numbers of all three of her children. The 3-year-old's application was the only one accepted; the card had a credit limit of $500 and a balance of $458.52. An administrative subpoena was delivered to Qwest Communications for the subscriber information for the IP address where the Internet applications originated. On Feb. 9, Qwest provided the detective with the address. The address matched Whitfield's address. The detective contacted the store where the card was used and viewed surveillance camera footage, which showed Whitfield and a female using the card to make purchases. Whitfield stated that he had never had a credit card and that someone else had used his computer to apply for the card. When he was shown the video surveillance, he admitted it was him, but said he had used his EBT card for that transaction. Social Services did not show any transactions from the store on his EBT card.

A charge of felony first-degree tampering with a witness to prevent testimony in the case was dismissed.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge John Melbye:

Tanya Ann Allen, 32, of Cass Lake, pleaded innocent Sept. 22 to gross misdemeanor theft. Her next court date will be Oct. 20.

She is accused of stealing items in December 2007 from the United Way Holiday Gifts for Kids program. Upon her arrest, numerous stolen toys were recovered in Allen's residence. Bemidji Police officers began investigating reports on Dec. 17, 2007, that toys were being taken without authorization at several Bemidji area stores, including Wal-Mart, L&M Fleet and Pamida.

Christopher Aaron King, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 21 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI and misdemeanor driving after revocation.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 276 days were stayed for five years; he must serve 37 days in jail; given credit for 52 days served; five years of supervised probation; pay a fine of $1,108; to be served consecutively with a separate case; complete outpatient treatment; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing; remain law-abiding; not drink and drive; not have any driver's license violations and not drive without insurance.

At 7:05 a.m. Aug. 1, the Minnesota State Patrol was advised that Beltrami County Law Enforcement agencies were attempting to locate a stolen vehicle. A trooper observed the suspect vehicle and was informed of the identity of the driver. The trooper initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as King. King was arrested and claimed that he had received the keys to the vehicle from an individual. Bemidji Police officers arrived on the scene to assist the trooper and observed an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle. King admitted to drinking and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .21. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He was asked to complete a breath test, and as he was getting ready to perform the test, he grabbed a bottle of hand sanitizer and squirted it into his mouth. He also sprayed it all over the trooper and the room. After this incident, he agreed to be transported to North Country Regional Hospital for a blood test. His license was revoked to because of a prior refusal to submit. He has one DWI conviction.

Roland Alvin Leikvoll, 33, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Sept. 21 and was sentenced Sept. 22 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail with 11 months and 20 days stayed for three years on the following conditions: He must serve 10 days in jail with work release if eligible; serve three years of probation to the court; not consume alcohol and controlled substances; not possess alcohol and controlled substances; not enter bars and liquor stores; undergo chemical dependency evaluation/treatment and follow the recommendations; undergo random testing; not drink and drive; not have driver's license violations; not drive without insurance; remain law-abiding; and pay fine and costs of $858.

At 9:35 p.m. July 7, the Bemidji Law Enforcement Center received a report of a one-vehicle motorcycle accident at 28th Street Northwest and Park Avenue Northwest. The motorcycle was left on its side at the scene, but the driver had walked north toward the Vista North Townhomes neighborhood. Bemidji Police officers received permission from the home owner to enter the residence. They found Leikvoll asleep on the floor. The officers woke him up and observed the odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes. Leikvoll was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .21 in the Intoxilyzer test. He had no valid driver's license. He had no prior DWI convictions.

Warren Lynn Castonguay, 50, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 22 to felony fifth-degree possession of cocaine. His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 20.

According to the criminal complaint, at 8:45 p.m. May 6, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy on patrol on Grange Road Northwest near Irvine Avenue Northwest saw a car cross the center line and travel east in the westbound lane. The deputy made a traffic stop and observed the odor of marijuana smoke in the car, as well as a glass marijuana pipe, baggies of marijuana and cocaine.

Douglas Allen Benson, 41, of Tenstrike, pleaded innocent Sept. 21 to gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI with two aggravating factors. His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 20.

According to the criminal complaint, at 7:50 a.m. Aug. 15, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper responded to the report of a vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 71 at the Beltrami Hubbard County line. Benson had driven away from the accident scene to a nearby gas station where the trooper located him. The trooper observed the odor of alcohol on Benson, who denied being in the crash. He failed field sobriety tests and registered .14 on the preliminary breath test. He was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .15 in the Intoxilyzer test. He has three prior DWI convictions from Act. 1989, August 1997 and November 2002.

Alaina Danae Prentice, 18, of Redby, pleaded innocent Sept. 21 to gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI with two aggravating factors. Her jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 15.

According to the criminal complaint, at 3:11 p.m. June 5, Beltrami County Dispatch received a report of a reckless driver traveling south on U.S. Highway 71 near Blackduck. A Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene and found Prentice pulled over on the side of the highway near the statue of the duck. The deputy observed slurred speech on Prentice along with glassy, watery eyes. She said she was out of gas, according to the complaint. She registered .12 on a preliminary breath test. Field sobriety tests weren't conducted because of the windy weather. She was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail where she registered .27 on the Intoxilyzer test. Her license was revoked at her arrest. She has two prior DWI convictions from September 2007 and August 2008.

David James Cook, 30, of Red Lake, pleaded innocent Sept. 21 to gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI with two aggravating factors. His jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 15.

According to the criminal complaint, at 4:45 p.m. July 30, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy traveling north on state Highway 89 near Spencer Road received a report of a possible drunk driver traveling north on Highway 89 at a high rate of speed. The deputy turned around, met the described vehicle, turned around again and followed it. The suspect passed other vehicles and ran an oncoming car off the road onto the shoulder to avoid collision. The driver also crossed the fog and center line at speeds reaching 100 mph. The deputy activated the squad car's lights and siren, and Cook stopped near Aure Road Northwest. The front-seat passenger reached over and turned off the engine. The deputy observed Cook to show bloodshot, watery, glassy eyes and slurred, mumbling speech. Cook failed field sobriety tests and registered .24 on a preliminary breath test. He was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail, where he registered .21 on the Intoxilyzer test. His license was revoked at the time of his arrest. He has two prior DWI convictions from July 1997 and January 2008.

John Robert Virnig, 19, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 21 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI with one aggravating factor. His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 20.

According to the criminal complaint, at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 20, a Bemidji Police officer was stopped at a red light on state Highway 197 facing Irvine Avenue Northwest. The officer saw a westbound vehicle on Highway 197 enter the intersection against the red light. The officer activated the squad car's lights and made the traffic stop and observed the odor of alcohol, watery, glassy eyes and thick speech on Virnig. Virnig failed field sobriety tests. He was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .25 on the Intoxilyzer test. He has no previous violations on his record.

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