Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or email@example.com
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
RED LAKE—Michael Wayne Whitefeather did not know who he was attacking when he shot Anthony Allen Wells, according to a federal criminal complaint charging Whitefeather with second-degree murder. Whitefeather, 18, who has been in custody since Wednesday, is accused of killing Wells in the early hours of Saturday, April 28, on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. According to a criminal complaint:
BEMIDJI—No one was injured Wednesday evening in a downtown structure fire. The Bemidji Fire Department was called to 507 Beltrami Ave. NW at about 5 p.m. after the wooden deck attached to an apartment caught fire. Most of the fire was contained to the deck, Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said, but an apartment window broke out and "minor fire" extended into the building. The apartment tenant was able to escape the flames. The building also houses Pine Country Insurance.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man accused of shooting at two people during an early October altercation pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault Monday. Deavion Ladell Beasley, 24, was initially charged with gross misdemeanor possession of a firearm after his Oct. 5 arrest. According to court documents: Police say Beasley shot at two men—Andy Tillotson and Kevin Robertson—after Tillotson attacked him with a pry bar in the parking lot of Pete's Place West.
BEMIDJI—The Beltrami County Jail violated state rules regarding inmate checks in the 2017 death of a woman in custody, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Stephanie Bunker, 39, of Naytahwaush, was found hanging in her cell at the jail on July 1 and later died at a hospital on July 11.
BEMIDJI—A Williston man who sought sex with an underage girl in Bemidji received no additional jail time when he appeared in court April 18. Alexander Jin Brown, 29, pleaded guilty in January to one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child. During his April 18 sentencing, Brown received a stayed 15-month prison sentence. This means he will not have to spend time in prison if he successfully completes a three-year period of probation.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man who intentionally set fire to a house about five miles north of the city was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison Wednesday, April 18. Damian Patrick Joseph Smith, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree arson March 16. He has been incarcerated since Jan. 1, when the Bemidji Fire Department responded to the fire. According to a criminal complaint, firefighters responded to the blaze at the 700 block of Sunset Way at about about 10:22 p.m. When they arrived, officials found Smith and both of the home's residents in the garage.
BAGLEY—The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by Clearwater County prosecutors Monday, paving the way for four anti-pipeline activists to argue during trial that they had no choice but to disrupt a pipeline transporting tar sands oil. The dismissal was released six months after Ninth District Judge Robert Tiffany ruled that Annette Klapstein, 65, of Bainbridge Island, Wash., Emily Johnston, 51, of Seattle, Benjamin Joldersma, 39, of Seattle and Steven Liptay, 37, of Brooklyn, N.Y., could present a necessity defense during their trial.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man who the FBI thinks was involved in an armed robbery and shooting in November is back in custody. Derek Jon Paddy, 22, was booked at the Beltrami County Jail at 5:07 p.m. Thursday, the roster shows. He was charged in federal court March 29 with four crimes stemming from two separate incidents: first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. He was also wanted for Beltrami County warrants for simple robbery and first-degree burglary.
BEMIDJI -- A pursuit of at least two people by the Bemidji Police Department ended with the suspect’s car in the Mississippi River on Thursday afternoon. According to scanner chatter, two suspects were taken into custody at about 1:38 p.m. after the car went into the river.
ST. PAUL—As the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission prepares to vote this June on Enbridge Energy Co.'s controversial Line 3 replacement project, Northland lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would crack down on those who train or recruit protesters who damage "critical infrastructure" such as oil pipelines. However, those against the law fear that it would intimidate would-be activists and squash peaceful protests.