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Beltrami County District Court Report

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

Mardee Lynn Jones, 21, of Cass Lake pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor fourth-degree burglary and misdemeanor damage to property. She requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

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According to the criminal complaint: At 10:50 a.m. July 4, Jones entered a home without knocking and punched a man in the face several times. She then went into the garage and smashed the window of a van parked there.

Jesse Grant Lyons, 25, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor fourth-degree burglary. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: At 12:42 a.m. March 18, Lyons was cited by a Bemidji Police officer for assaulting a bouncer at a Bemidji bar. He then went to an apartment where a family was sleeping and kicked in the door. The residents didn't know Lyons. On April 21, he failed to appear in court to answer the charge of fifth-degree assault of the bouncer. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Tammy Aileen Simmons, 41, of Shakopee, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to felony third-degree sale of oxycodone. She requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: Simmons sold eight tablets of oxycodone to a Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force confidential reliable informant. She has six prior felony convictions: 1991, third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Hubbard County; 1998, terroristic threats in Wadena County; 1999, attempted robbery in Hubbard County; 2001, fifth-degree possession of controlled substance in Beltrami County; 2003, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Wadena County; 2010, fifth-degree conspiracy to sell OxyContin in Beltrami County. She is currently an inmate in the Shakopee Correctional Facility.

Audrey Dawn Lussier, 40, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor check forgery. She requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: On May 5, she forged a check for $50 from another person's account at a Bemidji business.

Tony Lee Preston, 35, of Bagley, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI with one aggravating factor. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: At 3:04 a.m. July 28, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a report of an unconscious man in a vehicle. The deputy woke Preston up and detected the odor of alcohol and bloodshot, watery eyes. Preston didn't know where he was or what the time was. He was taken to North Country Regional Hospital for a urine test. His driving privileges were revoked at the time of his arrest, and he has one prior DWI conviction In June 2010 in Clearwater County.

Jesse Wayne Johnson, 22, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: At 12:48 p.m. Aug. 20, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy on routine patrol saw Johnson driving. The deputy knew Johnson's license was cancelled because of an April 2010 DWI conviction.

Duane Douglas Cook Sr., 50, address unavailable, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI with one aggravating factor. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: At 6:49 p.m. July 10, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy on routine patrol saw a driver on Kelliher Road not wearing a seat belt, which was dangling outside the vehicle door. The vehicle was also missing a taillight. The deputy made a traffic stop. Cook said he didn't have a driver's license. The deputy detected the odor of alcohol. Cook failed field sobriety tests and registered .12 in a preliminary breath test. He was taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered .11 on the Intoxilyzer. His driver's license was revoked because of three prior DWI convictions in 1998, 1999 and 2004.

Todd William Pemberton Jr., 19, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon causing substantial bodily harm. A second felony charge of first-degree assault causing great bodily harm is scheduled to be dismissed at his Oct. 18 sentencing.

At 1:30 a.m. Jan. 2, Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies responded to the report of a stabbing at a Kappes Road residence. The victim had been taken to the Cass Lake IHS Hospital with two stab wounds in his chest, and later to North Country Regional Hospital with damage to his lungs and other organs. Pemberton and the victim were involved in a verbal argument, which escalated into a physical fight. At the end of the fight, Pemberton stabbed the other man twice in the chest.

Daniel Joseph Schmerbeck, 24, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to felony fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: at 2:11 a.m. Aug. 14, a Bemidji Police officer was performing radar checks on Paul Bunyan Drive South when the officer clocked a vehicle traveling at 44 mph in the 35 mph zone. The officer activated lights, but the driver continued into Nymore and then exited the vehicle to flee on foot. Schmerbeck fell over a fence into a garden and was arrested. The officer detected the odor of alcohol on Pemberton, who was on a no-drink order. He was taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he refused a preliminary breath test.

Adam Lee St. Peter, 24, of Bagley, pleaded guilty Aug. 24 and was sentenced Sept. 27 for felony third-degree burglary, amended from felony first-degree burglary.

He was sentenced to 21 months in prison stayed for five years on the following conditions: He must serve 347 days in jail with credit for 347 days served; serve five years of supervised probation; pay fine and costs of $1,083; complete chemical dependency assessment and follow recommendations; not use alcohol or controlled substances; undergo random testing and searches; submit a DNA sample; and write a letter of apology.

On the morning of July 18, people at a residence in Beltrami County reported that during the night while they were sleeping, someone broke in through a window and stole a wallet containing about $200 and prescription medications. At the time of the burglary, St. Peter was on unsupervised probation for criminal damage to property.

Russell Louis Bennett, 61, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI with one aggravating factor.

He was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 355 days stayed for three years on the following conditions: He must serve 10 days on work release with credit for two days served; serve three years of probation; pay fine and costs of $608; undergo random testing; not drink and drive; undergo educational assessment program; and enroll in the ASPEN program.

At 3 p.m. Aug. 5, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy responded to a report of hazardous driving on Irvine Avenue Northwest. The deputy made a traffic stop and detected the odor of alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes on Bennett, who failed field sobriety tests and registered.24 in a preliminary breath test. He was taken to the Beltrami County Jail where he gave a urine sample.

Matthew George Gross, 22, of Puposky, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI with two aggravating factors.

He was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 335 days stayed for three years on the following conditions: He must serve 30 days on work release; serve three years of probation; pay fine and costs of $858; complete chemical dependency assessment and follow recommendations; not drink and drive; undergo random testing; undergo educational assessment program; and enroll in ASPEN.

At 1:14 a.m. June 6, a Bemidji Police officer on routine patrol saw a vehicle traveling on Third Street Northwest with no headlights on. The officer made a traffic stop and detected the odor of alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes on Gross, who failed field sobriety tests and registered .238 in a preliminary breath test. He was taken to North Country Regional Hospital where a blood test registered .23. His driving privileges were valid at the time of his arrest. He has one prior DWI conviction.

Kari Lynn Cook, 29, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for gross misdemeanor financial transaction card fraud.

She was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 316 days stayed for two years on the following conditions: She must serve 49 days in jail with credit for 33 days served; serve two years of probation; pay or work off fine and costs of $583; and make restitution.

At 2 p.m. Feb. 15, she took and used a credit card belonging to another person who had inadvertently left the card on the counter at a Bemidji business.

In another case, Cook pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name and misdemeanor identity theft.

She was sentenced on these convictions to two years of probation, with credit given for 31 days served. She must pay fine and costs of $383, pay restitution and complete a cognitive skills assessment.

On April 7, Bemidji Police officer responded to a call from North Country Regional Hospital where Cook had given a false name and Social Security number to obtain services valued at $100.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

E Kyle Richard Dupree, 23, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for felony fourth-degree assault of a peace officer.

He was sentenced to 135 days in jail stayed for four years on the following conditions: He must serve four years of supervised probation; complete a chemical dependency assessment; submit to random testing; submit a DNA sample; not enter bars or liquor stores; and remain law-abiding.

At midnight June 5, Dupree was arrested after Bemidji Police officers responded to a report at a motel in Bemidji. Dupree was on the second floor of the building in an "agitated state." While officers were attempting to remove him, Dupree punched one of the officers in the jaw before being handcuffed. Dupree has two prior convictions for felony possession of a controlled substance in May 2006 and of a felony burglary in June 2007, both in Walsh County of North Dakota.

E Tony Brandin Abbott, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 27 for gross misdemeanor second-degree driving while intoxicated.

He was sentenced to 365 days in jail stayed for four years on the following conditions: He must serve four years of supervised probation with electronic alcohol home monitoring for 60 days; pay fine and costs of $858; not consume alcohol or controlled substances or enter bars or liquor stores; and submit to random testing.

A Bemidji Police officer arrested Abbott at 10:34 a.m. April 24 after conducting a traffic stop. Abbott did not have a driver's license on him and he smelled of alcohol and spoke at a rapid pace. Abbott was transported to North County Regional Hospital and submitted a urine sample. A background check completed by a police officer reveals Abbott's driver's license was previously canceled. He has two prior DWI convictions and/or alcohol-related loss of license incidents for matters that occurred in November 2003 and July 2009.

E Berry Wayne Rundell, 34, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. His next court date is Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: Rundell was arrested at 2 a.m. June 5 when a Beltrami Sheriff's deputy responded to a residence for removal of a disorderly person. A woman told the deputy she had been inappropriately groped by Rundell. The woman stated Rundell stepped in front of her and began hugging her closely. She said she tried to break away but he continued to grope her. The woman's husband then contacted law enforcement to have Rundell removed. Rundell has two prior convictions for fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct arising from a 1994 incident in Beltrami County. He was convicted on this offence Nov. 20, 1995.

E Yvette Marie Neadeau, 44, of Red Lake, pleaded innocent Sept. 27 to gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation inimical to public safety. Her next court date is Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint: Neadeau was arrested at 9:30 p.m. June 19 after a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy conducted a traffic stop on state Highway 89. Neadeau arrived at the scene of the traffic stop to pick up the occupants of the vehicle. The deputy ran Neadeau's name through the system and learned her driving privileges were cancelled as inimical to public safety.

E Marlon Lavar Campbell, 31, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty March 9 and was sentenced Sept. 9 on a felony charge of driving a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.

Campbell was sentenced to 19 months in prison with credit for 274 days served. He must pay fine and costs of $133 and submit a DNA sample.

Campbell was arrested at 1:15 a.m. Sept. 11 when a Cass County deputy saw a 1990 Chevrolet, which was earlier reported stolen from the 300 block of Minnesota Avenue Northwest in Bemidji, traveling west on U.S. Highway 2. Campbell was driving the vehicle and pulled into a driveway. He said the vehicle belonged to a friend but that he but didn't know the friend's last name. Campbell said he did not live at the residence where he had had driven the car.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge John Melbye:

Darrin James Lightfeather, 25, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty Sept. 24 for serious felony attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct- penetration while armed with a dangerous weapon. The charge was amended from serious felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct-penetration while armed with a dangerous weapon. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

At 3:30 a.m. June 25, a woman was sleeping in a Bemidji residence when she awoke with an unknown man on top of her. He had penetrated her and threatened her with brass knuckles if she made any noise. When Lightfeather left, she called for help from a family member who lived nearby. The family member and other restrained Lightfeather and called law enforcement.

Clinton Robert Zenzius, 24, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to felony third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

At 11 p.m. May 19, Bemidji Police officer responded to a call from a Bemidji bar where several customers were restraining Zenzius. He had assaulted the bartender with a pool cue when the bartender refused to serve him. The assault left the bartender with a bloody face and broken glasses. Zenzius has felony convictions for first-, second- and third-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2006 and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle in 2007 and two felony convictions for third-degree burglary in 2008.

Jesse James Poncelet, 32, of Cass Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 21 for gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.

He was sentenced to one year in jail with 350 days stayed for two years on the following conditions: He must serve 15 days in jail; serve two years of probation; pay fine and costs of $583; complete chemical dependency assessment and follow recommendations; not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances or be around others who are using them; and undergo random testing.

At 9 p.m. April 9, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy saw Poncelet driving on Paul Bunyan Drive. The deputy knew Poncelet's driving privileges had been cancelled. The deputy made a traffic stop, arrested Poncelet and took him to the Beltrami County Jail.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:

Jesse Burton Steele Sr., 32, of Bagley, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 23 for gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.

He was sentenced to one year in jail with 335 days stayed for two years on the following conditions: He must serve 30 days in jail with credit for 17 days served, serve two years of probation and pay fine and costs of $833.

At 10:35 p.m. April 15, a Bemidji Police officer on routine patrol on Bemidji Avenue saw a vehicle with windows tinted illegally dark. The officer made a traffic stop and found Steele had no insurance and no driver's license. Steele was arrested and taken to the Beltrami County Jail. There was no indication he had used alcohol.

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