Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man involved in an early October altercation west of the city was sentenced to 12 days in jail Tuesday. Kevin Robertson, 31, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to one count of making terroristic threats. He was initially charged with aiding and abetting second-degree assault after the Oct. 5 incident but agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge as part of a plea deal.
BEMIDJI—A Cass Lake man charged with a felony after police say he arranged to meet and have sex with a person he thought was a child pleaded not guilty Friday. Devyn John Bockwitz, 36, was charged with one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child in September after an online sting. According to a criminal complaint, Bockwitz responded to an advertisement posted by "local" law enforcement on social media. The complaint did not say which agency posted the ad, but the poster posed as a 15-year-old girl.
BEMIDJI—Prosecutors dropped two charges Tuesday against a Bemidji man accused of running another man over with his car. Keanu Joseph Major, 22, who also triggered a multi-county manhunt after escaping from custody in July, had been charged with one count of second-degree assault and one count of failing to stop after a traffic collision that caused injury or death. A criminal complaint against Major said he had been stabbed by Tyler Cournoyer, 22. Major then allegedly ran over Cournoyer, who is charged with one count of second-degree assault.
BEMIDJI—A former Roseau County sheriff's deputy who harassed and defamed two Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents will not spend any additional time behind bars. Joshua McGurran Olson, 36, received a stayed sentence of two years and four months in prison Friday, meaning that he will not have to serve the time unless he violates conditions of probation. Olson was also sentenced to 105 days in the Beltrami County Jail, but received credit for the 105 days he served before his sentencing.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners received an in-depth report on the assessment of the Beltrami County Jail performed in October by the National Institute of Corrections. The 75-page report, presented to the commissioners by Jail Administrator Melissa Bohlmann and Assistant Jail Administrator Calandra Allen, addressed the jail's strengths and weaknesses; namely issues surrounding recruitment and retention of jail staff and lack of space for increasing numbers of inmates.
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man who participated in a March burglary that left the victim with a broken hand and head injuries was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday. Francisco Cecena, 22, pleaded guilty in October to one count of first-degree burglary, one count of aggravated robbery, one count of false imprisonment and one count of third-degree possession of methamphetamine.
REDBY—Recently released search warrants revealed additional details of a shooting that triggered a multi-county manhunt last week. In a Dec. 1 post to Twitter, the FBI issued a release asking for help apprehending Derek Jon Paddy, 21, of Red Lake. The tweet said that Paddy was involved in a Nov. 23 armed robbery and a Nov. 30 shooting on the reservation, and is considered armed and dangerous. The FBI would not provide any more information to the Pioneer.
CASS LAKE—Six months after Leech Lake band members voted to build a new casino in Cass Lake, officials broke ground at the construction site Thursday. Various officials, including Leech Lake Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson, Sr., Secretary/Treasurer Arthur LaRose and tribal council member LeRoy Fairbanks III expressed excitement for the upcoming project during the event, held near the current Leech Lake Gaming Administration Building.
DULUTH -- A Redby man charged with a federal drug crime pleaded not guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin during a Nov. 27 hearing. Cody Jorrell Loud, Sr. was charged Oct. 18 in U.S. District Court, more than 15 months after Red Lake police found thousands of dollars in cash and more than 100 grams of heroin in his trailer home within the boundaries of the Red Lake reservation.
RED LAKE—Days after the historic St. Mary's Mission Church in Red Lake burned to the ground, people whose lives have been touched by the church are attempting to raise money to help rebuild. One GoFundMe page, started by Troy Bauer, a youth minister at St. Katharine Drexel in Ramsey, Minn., has already raised $990 in just four days. Bauer first visited St. Mary's school in 2012 while running a mission trip and wanted to help the church get back on its feet when he heard about the fire.