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 Bagley man who participated in a burglary that left the victim with a broken hand a head injuries was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison Wednesday. Tristian Lee Fox, 19, of Bagley, helped Joseph Devon Wood, 25, and Francisco Cecena, 22, both of Bemidji, break into a trailer home just outside Bemidji in March 2017. Wood hit the homeowner on the head, and Fox helped tie him up with duct tape. Fox, Wood and Cecena then stole a jar of marijuana and some magic cards, according to testimony. A criminal complaint said the men also stole $2,000 in cash.
BEMIDJI—Four people were charged with robbery Jan. 19, three days after they allegedly beat a woman and stole more than $1,000 of cash in Beltrami County. According to a criminal complaint, Jordan Lee Drouillard, Sr., 24, Ryanne Leigh Cook, 20—both of Bemidji—Vincent George Cobenais, 30, of Red Lake, and Alexis Rae Rodriquez, 23, of Duluth, had been riding in a Jeep with the victim the night of Jan. 16. Court documents say that the assault began after Drouillard accused the victim of stealing from him, and took her cell phone.
BEMIDJI -- A Rochester man accused of seeking sex with an underage girl pleaded guilty to a felony Jan. 16. Alexander Jin Brown, 29, initially pleaded not guilty to one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child, but changed his plea during the Jan. 16 hearing. According to a criminal complaint:
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man involved in an early October fight at a gas station west of the city must spend 20 days in jail. Andy Tillotson, 35, received a stayed sentence of one year and eight months in prison Jan. 16, meaning he will not have to go to prison if he complies with the conditions of his probation. But a judge also gave Tillotson a 60-day jail sentence. He received credit for 40 days already spent in the Beltrami County Jail.
MINNEAPOLIS -- As football fans pack the Twin Cities ahead of the Super Bowl the next two weeks, a group of Red Lake youth hope to introduce the audience to their culture and seize the opportunity of a lifetime. The group of about 44 students is composed of members of Red Lake’s Little Bear drum group and the Red Lake Elementary dance troupe. Both will perform during the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
ST. PAUL -- A Red Lake man who shot and killed a 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to a federal second-degree murder charge Friday. Court records show that Joshua Francis Hill agreed to a plea deal and waived his right to a grand jury hearing. As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss other charges against Hill, including one count of first-degree murder. Hill initially pleaded not guilty to the charges during a hearing in Duluth in September.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published in March of 2017. BEMIDJI -- Two people -- one of whom is a juvenile -- were arrested Friday a day after allegedly escaping the scene of a standoff near Cass Lake. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office initially said they were searching for two juveniles following the hours-long Thursday-morning incident. The release, sent Friday afternoon, said a 16-year-old juvenile and a 22-year-old male were arrested.
RED LAKE -- The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Tuesday to rescind a resolution accepting a land swap agreement with Enbridge Energy. The tribal council voted 5-3 to rescind the resolution that, in December 2015 accepted $18.5 million in exchange for a parcel of land about 16 miles south of the reservation.
BEMIDJI—For years, Sierra Charwood looked forward to the year she would finally be old enough to participate in Native STAND. Charwood's mother had worked for the program, which aims to educated Native American youth in Bemidji, Red Lake and Cass Lake about sexual health. Students have to be at least 14 to take part in the classes and, this year, Charwood was eligible.
BEMIDJI—In the period of one week, shortly before Christmas, five people on the Leech Lake reservation overdosed. One person died, but the four others were saved by doses of Narcan—a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose—administered by family members, rather than first responders or police. Those four people are part of the reason Leech Lake EMS Director Terry O'Connor has held 10 classes in Leech Lake and Bemidji, training community members on how to use Narcan.