Weather Forecast


News Briefs: Woman charged with setting fire to Ada home

Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.


Woman charged with setting fire to Ada home

ADA, Minn. -- A Norman County woman accused of trying to burn down the home of an Ada man in March has pleaded not guilty.

Virginia Adams, 28, is charged with first-degree arson, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, said Norman County Attorney James Brue.

After her appearance in court Wednesday, she remains in the regional jail in Crookston under a $25,000 bond.

According to a statement of probable cause, the victim and another man told investigators that Adams had been trying to get into house but they were trying to avoid her. After pounding on the back entry for up to 45 minutes, she left. That’s when the men smelled smoke and discovered a fire at the back entry.

They called 911 around 2:30 a.m. March 11.

“They knew each other,” Brue said of Adams and the two men.

Investigators drove to Adams’ home near Hendrum, about 16 miles away, and talked with a man who lived there. The man said that when Adams came home, she told him “she had just burned down” the Ada man’s house. He said she smelled of smoke.

Brue said the fire was extinguished quickly did “minimal damage” to the house.

She is scheduled for a pretrial conference May 7, he said.

Hector man killed in Renville County crash

OLIVIA, Minn. -- A 42-year-old Hector man was killed Thursday in a broadside accident on Minnesota Highway 4 in Renville County, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

Carlos Quezada, 42, was driving a 2006 Ford Freestyle south around 5 p.m. Thursday near milepost 86 when it collided with a northbound 2001 International truck driven by Steven Cassidy, 49, of Benson.

Cassidy suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the patrol.

Road conditions were wet and both drivers were wearing seat belts, the patrol said.

Jail inmate dies after apparent suicide attempt

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. -- A 28-year-old woman died Sunday after hanging herself in the Koochiching County Jail in International Falls, the sheriff’s office reported.

Kathryn Marie Schneider of International Falls was found hanging in her cell about 10 p.m. March 25. Corrections and police officers took her down and administered CPR, the police report states. She was sent to Rainy Lake Medical Center and later transported by air to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, where she died Sunday.

Koochiching County Sheriff Brian Jespersen said Schneider had turned herself in that evening on a warrant for a probation violation. Officers at the jail make cell checks every 25 minutes and it is estimated the woman, using a bed sheet, had been hanging for 14 minutes.

Jespersen said a standard investigation by the state Department of Corrections will ensue but said “they did everything right,” in referring to jail staff.

According to court records, she had been convicted a third time for driving while intoxicated in October and ordered to serve 90 days in jail with time out for work release. A warrant was issued March 18, after her jail time was served, for violating probation conditions.

North Dakota

Two more men charged in connection with shootout

STANTON, N.D. -- Two more men have been charged in connection with a shootout Sunday in Golden Valley, officials said Friday.

Bryson Snell of Hazen was charged with burglary and Benjamin Schultz of Beulah was arrested Wednesday as an accomplice to a burglary that left Jeffrey Gegelman with several bullet wounds Sunday, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Snell and Schultz allegedly went into Gegelman’s Golden Valley home with Brett Knudson of Golden Valley.

Gegelman said in an affidavit that the three men started shooting at him and he returned fire. Knudson has been charged with criminal trespassing and attempted murder.

The three men were being held at the Mercer County Jail.

Williams County investigating armed robbery

EPPING, N.D. – The Williams County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery and assault that occurred about 4 p.m. Thursday near Epping.

Sgt. Detective Caleb Fry said the suspects were driving a black Ford F-150 pickup. Fry did not release more information about the location of the incident. Fry said he did not know the extent of the victim’s injuries.

The robbery is believed to be an isolated incident, Fry said.

The public is asked to call (701) 577-7700 with information about the incident.