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Man who threatened pregnant woman with a knife to be sentenced

   BEMIDJI – A Bemidji man who threatened a pregnant woman carrying his child with a knife and held the weapon to her throat and face will be sentenced Feb. 11 for the act of violence.

William Gerald Desjarlais, 27, of Bemidji utilized a Norgaard Plea and was convicted of felony assault with a dangerous weapon in the second degree and felony domestic assault, according to court documents.

The conviction was handed down Tuesday by Beltrami County District Judge John Melbye.

A Norgaard Plea is used when a defendant wants to plead guilty to a crime but is unable to recall the facts of their case due to intoxication or amnesia.

In the early morning hours of June 3, 2012, Desjarlais returned to his residence, angry and under the belief that the mother of his unborn child had left him in the Grand Forks area, according to the documents. He threw the woman on the ground and began punching her in the face and choked her.

He then procured a knife with an 8- to 12-inch blade from the kitchen and threatened to kill the woman, who at the time was seven months pregnant with his child. Desjarlais then pressed the blade to the woman’s face and neck, but did not cut her, according to the documents.

Prosecuting Attorney David Frank recommended a sentence of 21 months for the charge of felony assault with a dangerous weapon in the second degree, but Desjarlais could serve as many as seven years in jail for that charge. The charge of felony domestic assault was classified as conviction only, in court documents, meaning Desjarlais will not serve time for the charge, but it will remain on his criminal record as a felony conviction.

A third charge of felony domestic assault by strangulation was dismissed by the court.

Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
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