Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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BLACKDUCK -- Two men who pleaded not guilty to a burglary in Blackduck have amended their pleas in Beltrami County District Court. Derick Jay Borntrager, 28, of Hines, and Billie Joe Large, 25, of Bemidji, each entered not guilty pleas on Nov. 10; those pleas were amended to guilty in court on Dec. 9. Borntrager and Large were connected to a burglary at a Blackduck residence in August after Beltrami County Sheriff's Office deputies located Large's insurance card during the investigation.
CASS LAKE -- A Cass Lake man facing eight counts of criminal vehicular homicide has amended his not guilty plea under terms of a plea agreement Cass County Court. Michael James Stangel, 28, was arrested in May after he was involved in a crash that killed two people north of Palace Casino. Stangel pleaded not guilty in September; and under a plea agreement with prosecutors, six of the charges against him were dismissed Dec. 8. Stangle remains charged with operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner under the influence of alcohol.
BEMIDJI -- Two people from Bemidji entered opposite pleas in Beltrami County District Court for charges they face in related crimes. Michael Alan Eugene Martin, 30, pleaded not guilty to felony second-degree assault Dec. 9. Martin is accused of aiming a pistol at a man who offered roadside assistance when Martin was pulled over on the side of Jones Town Hall Road on Sept. 21. Two witnesses who were with Martin at the scene said an argument occurred but that Martin pointed the gun in the air and not at the man. The man called law enforcement after the incident.
BEMIDJI -- A Cass Lake man charged with felony assault and possession of an assault weapon has pleaded guilty in Beltrami County District Court. Dwight Thomas Jones, 38, is charged with one count of second-degree assault and one count of possession of a pistol/assault weapon for his part in a shooting crime in September near Cass Lake. He entered guilty pleas to both charges on Dec. 8. Cory J.
BEMIDJI -- A Richmond woman charged with burglary pleaded not guilty Monday in Beltrami County District Court. Cassie Barrick, 32, was arrested in August for her part in a burglary and assault in July. Barrick is charged with felony first-degree burglary. Kristy Iva Platt, 30, of Bagley, was arrested in connection with the same incident. Platt is also charged with first-degree burglary. She has not yet entered a plea. Barrick and Platt are accused of assaulting a woman at a residence on Fairview Lane in Beltrami County and breaking down the woman's door before attacking her.
Sheriff's Report The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office responded to the following calls on Wednesday: Suspicious 11:54 a.m. Brass headstone monuments off of gravesites found in dumpster on the 2000 block of Fern Street NW. Assault 4:46 p.m. A 29-year-old woman was arrested for second-degree assault and an outstanding out of county warrant following a report of property damage on the 3000 block of Scenic Highway SE in Pennington. Warrant 4:44 p.m.
The following people were booked into the Beltrami County Jail Wednesday. The charges listed here do not necessarily reflect the nature of the counts that may be levied against them...
BEMIDJI -- Hypothermia appears to be the cause of a BSU student’s death last week, according to preliminary autopsy results, Bemidji police said Thursday. Sandra Lommen, 20, of Bloomington, Minn.,...
BEMIDJI -- A Red Lake woman arrested with more than 40 grams of methamphetamine pleaded not guilty Monday in Beltrami County District Court. Stormie Jasmine Graves, 23, is charged with felony first-degree possession of methamphetamine. Graves was arrested in October outside a Bemidji residence after officers responded to a 911 call. Graves was in the drivers seat of a vehicle parked in the driveway.
BEMIDJI -- A Redby man charged with felony simple robbery entered a guilty plea Monday in Beltrami County District Court. Kyle James Kingbird, 28, was arrested after he and Jessica Tara Barney, 32, of Bemidji, allegedly beat a man and stole his van on Nov. 21 from a mall parking lot in Bemidji. According to court documents, the victim met Barney at a shelter and the two of them went to the mall. Barney returned from the mall with two men, including Kingbird and a woman. The group reportedly assaulted the victim and took his van to the Super 8 motel.