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WILLMAR, Minn. —Despite a request for leniency, a Willmar man convicted of kidnapping his estranged wife was sentenced Monday to more than three years in prison. Judge Jennifer Fischer ordered Cesar Octavio Garcia-Gonzalez, 38, to serve 41 months in prison. In an agreement reached in July, Garcia-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, a felony. Seven additional charges, including stalking, assault and domestic assault, were dismissed as part of the agreement.
BENSON — An ex-professional football player, formerly of Benson, is facing a criminal charge for allegedly making a fraudulent insurance claim over an AFC title ring he reported as stolen. Brent Dwayne Griffith, 51, made his first appearance Tuesday in Swift County District Court. He is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud. Court records said Griffith was returning from a trip to Mexico in March 2013 with his then-wife when he reported the ring missing from a shaving kit in his luggage.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Willmar truck driver is facing two criminal charges stemming from an alleged road rage incident last month on Minnesota Highway 23 between Clara City and Willmar. Matthew Donavon Monson, 34, made a first appearance Wednesday, May 31, in Kandiyohi County District Court. He is charged with first-degree criminal damage to property, which is a felony, and disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
WILLMAR, Minn.—Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers formally agreed to a letter of intent Wednesday, May 24, to join forces with CentraCare Health of St. Cloud. It's the first step toward forming a new corporation to collaboratively deliver health care in Willmar and the region. Leaders of both organizations said the move will help preserve and enhance local health care in the face of accelerating change.