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—Light cloud cover and a breeze made for a comfortable day on the water during this year's Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic on Saturday. Rich Blomberg, Bemidji, and Aaron Murphy, Grand Rapids, reeled in the $12,500 first-place prize with just over 17 pounds of walleye—less than one pound more than the second-place winners. The duo managed to recover from a poor start after they woke up to find that their minnows had died due to a power outage.
BEMIDJI—The trial of a Bemidji man facing felony murder charges is set to begin Monday. Brian Keith Jourdain, 26, has been held in Beltrami County Jail since February 2015 after police say he stabbed a woman, causing her death. Jourdain, who is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one with and one without intent, will be tried in Beltrami County District Court. The trial begins Monday with jury selection and is expected to run two weeks.
BEMIDJI—Court documents show that a 2-year-old foster child found dead Sunday in a Bemidji home had several areas of bruising and superficial lacerations around her head and body and a red or pink fluid draining from her nose. Police suspect the Bemidji man charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the child's death was using drugs, according to the documents. Kira Friedman, 2, was found dead at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Friedman was left unattended in a shower and apparently drowned in a laundry tote, according to a criminal complaint.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 2-year-old child. Nathan Daniel Jackson Sr., 38, was arrested Sunday after the Bemidji Police Department responded to a report of an unresponsive 2-year-old at a residence in the 700 block of Lake Avenue Southeast at about 11:21 a.m., according to a criminal complaint from the Beltrami County Attorney's Office. Jackson appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.
BEMIDJI—A contested omnibus hearing for a St. Paul man charged with aiding an offender in the murder of Rose Downwind has been moved to July. Christopher Davis, 27, appeared briefly in court Tuesday, when his hearing was originally scheduled. The hearing was moved to July 8, when his attorneys say he will likely enter a plea. This is the second time Davis' hearing has been re-scheduled. He was originally set to appear in court in April for a hearing regarding his involvement in helping Marchello Cimmarusti, 40, dispose of Downwind's body.
BEMIDJI—One person was seriously injured and two individuals sustained non life-threatening injures in a three-vehicle crash in Cass County on Thursday morning. According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol, the accident occurred at about 7:20 a.m. when a 1990 Pontiac Bonneville, traveling southbound on state Highway 371 slowed to turn onto 137th Street and was rear-ended by a 2016 Toyota Sienna. The Sienna pushed the Bonneville into the northbound lane of the highway, where it was struck by a 2016 Ford pickup pulling a boat and trailer.
BEMIDJI—Nearly one year after a Bemidji restaurant owner allegedly shot and killed a former employee, the case remains in flux. The Beltrami County Attorney's office has not filed any charges against David Mendoza, 33, owner of the Mi Rancho restaurant, but the case is still "under investigation," according to County Attorney Annie Claesson-Huseby, who declined to comment further. The shooting
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji woman received an unexpected lunchtime visitor last Sunday when a fully grown black bear came within eight feet of her kitchen window. Louise Witt, 79, captured photos of the bear as it attempted to extract its afternoon meal from her backyard bird feeder. Witt’s 12-year-old great-granddaughter, Sydnie James, also snapped a few pictures on her iPad.
BEMIDJI -- An annual springtime flower display was vandalized early last week in downtown Bemidji. Michael and Pamela Kelsey, owners of Kelsey’s Jewelry, spent much of May 19 and 20 planting flowers in the planters outside their store. According to Michael Kelsey, store employees noticed the flowers had been pulled out of the planters when they arrived for work May 23.