News Briefs: Man charged with arson following vehicle theftEditor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Man charged with arson following vehicle theft
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A Shevlin man already in jail for stealing a truck last November now is charged with torching the vehicle.
Brandon Alfred Nattrass, 21, was arrested Nov. 27 and later convicted of felony third-degree motor vehicle theft. He is in custody at the Beltrami County Jail awaiting his first appearance on a charge of felony third-degree arson.
According to court documents, investigators with the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office obtained a confession from Nattrass after his arrest for stealing the vehicle.
Nattrass told authorities he was walking around Bagley on Nov. 23, hungry and cold. He stole a truck, drove to a man’s home to borrow a gas can and traveled to Bemidji, according to the documents. There, he became “nervous” and drove the truck onto a snowmobile trail, where he lit it on fire, the documents say.
Nattrass was convicted in February of stealing the vehicle and sentenced to one year in jail, to be served in Clearwater County.
Nattrass has previous convictions of first-degree property damage in 2009 and 2011, and a 2012 conviction of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.
Man pleads guilty for beaning sister
CARLTON, Minn. -- A Cloquet man has pleaded guilty to assault charges for throwing a can of chili beans at his sister.
Kenneth Merle Perry, Jr., 26, was initially charged with second- and third-degree assault – both felony charges – as well as gross misdemeanor domestic assault for the June 29 incident.
In a plea deal, Perry pleaded guilty Tuesday to domestic assault and the third-degree assault charge was dismissed.
The second-degree assault against Perry was dropped prior to the trial that began Tuesday. County Attorney Thom Pertler said, because they were “overly optimistic.” The plea deal at the end of the first day of the trial brought the case to a close.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 29, the Cloquet Police Department was dispatched to a home regarding a domestic disturbance. They learned that Kenneth Perry had thrown a can of chili beans at his sister’s head, causing a gash in her forehead, which required several stitches to close.
“The can of chili beans is considered a dangerous weapon when thrown from close range,” the complaint stated.
Mother files bus driver complaint with sheriff's office
BEMIDJI, Minn. – The mother of the boy who allegedly was forced to walk home after his school bus driver would not let him off at his driveway has filed a complaint with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
A report was filed about 9 a.m. Thursday from the mother, Amber Thayer, according to a daily media report from the sheriff’s office.
Thayer reported that her 6-year-old son was forced to remain on the bus after the bus driver dropped the child’s older brother off at their driveway and then drove the younger child down the street, according to the media report. The bus driver then made the child, who earlier was noncompliant with the bus driver, to walk home in the cold.
Beltrami County Investigator Scott Hinners said Friday afternoon that he started his investigation Thursday and hopes to have it complete by next Wednesday.
Thayer first reported the incident to the Bemidji School District on Feb. 20, the day the incident allegedly occurred. The district undertook its own investigation, and the bus driver, who has not been identified by the district, resigned during that investigation.
$1 million bail set in Ada child murder case
ADA, Minn. – A Norman County judge set bail at $1 million Friday morning for a Dilworth man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s 22-month-old daughter in August.
Raul Perez, 24, appeared in Norman County District Court on two counts of second-degree unintentional murder in the death of Ariel Reyes, who court documents state was in his care last August as her mother went to the grocery store.
An autopsy found that the toddler died of neck and head injuries, according to court documents.
Norman County Attorney James Brue said bail was set at $1 million in part because of the nature of the allegations and because Perez is considered a flight risk because he recently spent time in Mexico and in Texas, where he has family.
Brue said if Perez posts bail, he will be required to relinquish his passport.
Illinois man sentenced in check-forging ring
MOORHEAD, Minn. – An Illinois man was sentenced Friday to 44 days in jail after pleading guilty in a check-forging ring.
Anthony Santo, who prosecutors said was “very cooperative,” pleaded guilty in Clay County District Court to a single count of felony forgery after cashing forged checks Dec. 4 at banks here and in Hawley in late November.
Court documents allege Santo told investigators, “They made me do it,” saying he and another man charged in the case were approached about the scheme by a man known only as “Diondre” while they were both at a homeless shelter in Minneapolis.
Clay County prosecutors said at the time the crimes may have links to similar offenses outside the county, and that federal investigators were looking into it.
Cable Guy, Bill Engvall cancel dome show
FARGO – The March 15 Fargo show by Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall has been canceled, according to a statement the Fargodome released Friday morning.
Rob Sobolik, Fargodome general manager, said Nashville-based promoter Outback Concerts didn’t say why they pulled the plug on the date.
The show still is listed on websites for both Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall, and there is no indication other dates are cancelled.
The March 15 date would’ve been the night before Bob Seger and Kid Rock play the Dome.
“Obviously, we didn’t want to see the (Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall) show go away,” Sobolik said. We try to bring in a wide variety of shows and hate to see anything get canceled. It’s just one of those things that’s out of our control.”
Sobolik said the comedy show would’ve been set up to seat 6,000 people.
People who purchased tickets and paid with a credit card will receive an automatic refund. Those who paid with cash or check should go to the Fargodome box office to receive a refund. Ticket holders who purchased through a third party will need to contact them for a refund.
Purchasing tickets outside of InforumTix.com and the Fargodome may result in fraudulent tickets or tickets that cannot be used for entry, according to the Fargodome. These tickets will not be exchanged and/or refunded by the Fargodome and InforumTix.com.
For more information, call (701) 241-9100.