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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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — A Grand Rapids man who was accused of helping his girlfriend stab, beat and behead 20-year-old David Haiman last year was found guilty Friday, Aug. 25, and immediately sentenced to life in prison. After a weeklong trial, Joseph Thoresen, 36, was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder as well as first-degree murder while committing kidnapping. First-degree premeditated murder carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.
BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji woman who pleaded guilty to a stabbing Tuesday will not spend any more time in jail. Christina Lindbom-Pond, 26, entered an Alford plea to fifth-degree assault during her Tuesday hearing. An Alford plea allows a person to assert their innocence while still entering a guilty plea.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Blood found in the home of a Grand Rapids man on trial for a beheading murder matched that of his alleged victim, according to testimony Wednesday. Investigators found dozens of bloodstains and bloody objects — including a machete and a knife — during a June 2016 search of Joseph Christen Thoresen and Kayleene Danielle Greniger's apartment.
BEMIDJI—The last of three co-defendants accused of tying up and assaulting a man before stealing drugs and money pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary Monday. Joseph Devon Wood, 25, of Bemidji, has been held in the Beltrami County Jail since his March 9 arrest. Two accused accomplices—Francisco Cecena, 22, of Bemidji and Tristian Lee Fox, 19, of Bagley—also remain in jail. Wood entered his not guilty plea two months after a judge upheld the legitimacy of a search warrant that resulted in a search of Wood's temporary home.
BEMIDJI—After 20 years as a community fixture, the Bemidji Citizen Patrol is calling it quits. Representatives of the volunteer patrol, which worked with the Bemidji Police Department, announced at Monday's City Council meeting that it will end its services at the end of the month. A news release said the group is disbanding due to a lack of new membership and "exhaustion" of current members.
BEMIDJI -- Cloud cover couldn’t cast a shadow on the spirits of the 50-plus people who gathered at the Beltrami County History Center on Monday to view the solar eclipse, the first total eclipse in 38 years. Families, children and other community members enjoyed snacks and crafts in the history center’s parking lot until a bit after noon, when those gathered turned their attention skyward.
BEMIDJI -- A group of Twin Cities teens who took to the water six days ago to protest a proposed oil pipeline stopped in Bemidji to spread their message Thursday evening. The six youths, who are between 14 and 18 years old, are paddling canoes 250 miles across northern Minnesota in an effort to raise awareness of their objections to the potential replacement of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3.
BEMIDJI—More than 100 people marched down Bemidji's main drag Wednesday evening, holding signs and chanting, in response to a racist rally in Virginia this past weekend that left one woman dead. Three Bemidji activists planned Wednesday's "Unite Against Hate" rally after events in Charlottesville, Va., saturated headlines around the country. Colbi Ikola, Nate Larson and Dan Gannon wanted to combat local racism, both open and subtle.
BEMIDJI—A Red Lake man accused of entering a woman's house, punching her in the face and stealing her purse pleaded not guilty to a first-degree burglary charge Monday. Court documents say Derek Jon Paddy, 21, was arrested June 21, three days after the burglary was reported. David Cook, Jr., 20, of Bemidji, was also arrested and charged with first-degree burglary. According to a search warrant affidavit:
BEMIDJI—A Blackduck man who arranged to meet and have sex with an undercover officer he thought was a child pleaded guilty to a felony Monday. Bradley Ray Brands, 51, initially pleaded not guilty in June to to one count of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child. Brands changed his plea and admitted to the crime during his Monday hearing.