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—The Tennessee man who police say caused a May school bus crash the injured multiple children was sentenced to 10 days in jail Friday. Thomas Lee Nielsen, 30, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was charged with careless driving May 5, two days after he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Irvine Avenue Northwest and South Movil Lake Road and hit the bus. The collision caused the bus driver to lose control and swerve onto the soft shoulder of Irvine Avenue, where the bus rolled on its side in the ditch.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man accused of burglary and robbery pleaded guilty to two felony charges Monday. Derek Jon Paddy, 21, was charged with one count of simple robbery in October 2016. According to a criminal complaint, Paddy and another man attacked a woman and her boyfriend outside of their apartment in Wilton on Oct. 23, 2016. The victim said she tried to call 911 on her phone, but that Paddy pointed a handgun at her, then took the cell phone. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of simple robbery in December.
BEMIDJI—A former Roseau County sheriff's deputy accused of harassing and defaming two Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents pleaded guilty to stalking Thursday. Joshua McGurran Olson, 36, was arrested April 5 in Clearwater County and charged with the felony in Beltrami County on April 19. According to a criminal complaint, Olson began stalking the two agents, referred to in documents as D.N. and N.A., after the pair began investigating him in 2016. Olson had been accused of "shooting up" a cabin in Roseau during a dispute over access to a road.
RED LAKE -- Improved weather conditions allowed searchers to continue working to find two missing Red Lake fishermen Thursday, and Red Lake Department of Public Safety personnel say the efforts won’t stop until the pair is found.
RED LAKE—In the 10 days since Deland Beaulieu and a 17-year-old boy disappeared in Lower Red Lake, the reservation's law enforcement personnel have searched the body of water and surrounding shoreline by boat, on foot and by air. Numerous local and state agencies have traveled to Redby and Ponemah to help with the search—some from as far as North Dakota—but searchers had still found no sign of the missing pair Wednesday afternoon.
Walker — A Cass Lake man was charged with murder Tuesday morning, two days after a Cass Lake woman died from a gunshot wound to the head. Brandon Joseph Roy, 24, was arraigned in Walker shortly after the Cass County Attorney’s Office charged him with one count of second-degree unintentional murder and one count of first-degree aggravated robbery.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man who touched a woman's breast without her consent will spend no additional time in jail. Austin Cleo Christopherson, 19, was sentenced Monday for fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. A judge gave him 365 days in the Beltrami County Jail, with 350 of those days stayed. Because Christopherson received 15 days of credit for the time he spent in custody before his conviction, he will not have to return to jail unless he violates the conditions of his probation.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man involved in an early October altercation at a gas station west of Bemidji pleaded guilty to a charge of terroristic threats Monday. Andy Tillotson, 35, admitted during his hearing that he swung a pry bar at another man, who he identified as Deavion Beasley, 24, during the Oct. 5 fight. Tillotson was initially charged with second-degree assault, to which he pleaded guilty Nov. 7. He withdrew the plea on Nov. 9 after his attorney and a prosecutor discovered there had been a misstatement of state law before the plea.
BEMIDJI—An Illinois man was charged with possession of child pornography Thursday, two days after he was found near Bloomington, Minn., with a missing Bemidji girl. Chris Morales, 21, of Oswego, Ill., was booked at the Beltrami County Jail at 2:55 a.m. Wednesday. According to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Morales and the girl were found thanks to the girl's neighbor, who noticed a man standing in the wood line near the child's home two days before she went missing.
BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man accused of attacking another man with a pry bar during an early October altercation withdrew his guilty plea Thursday. Andy Tillotson, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault Tuesday. He asked to withdraw the plea due to a misstatement of state law and a mistake made during the calculation of his criminal history score.