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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

This is the records summary for March 7.

Arrest

WILLMAR — A 22-year-old woman was arrested for driving while impaired around 7 p.m. Tuesday along the 600 block of Fourth Street Southeast.

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District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Benjamin Jeffrey Norlin, 26, of Litchfield, was sentenced Wednesday to 44 days in jail, a $50 fine and three years of probation on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for running from a Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy at speeds over 100 mph last July.

Norlin was given credit for 44 days already served and was ordered to submit to electronic alcohol monitoring each July while he’s on probation, cooperate with a referral to a cognitive skills program and personal mental health therapy and pay $179.98 in restitution.

As part of a plea agreement, misdemeanor charges of fleeing an officer on foot, driving after revocation, reckless driving and speeding were dismissed.

Norlin and Lisa Marie Diegnau, 22, of Litchfield, were both charged in the case. Diegnau pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail, a $50 fine and a year of probation.

The charges were filed after July 22, when a deputy was driving on County Road 10 near the intersection with County Road 9 and met a vehicle that crossed over the fog line. The deputy turned around and punched the license plate into his computer. The computer showed the vehicle owner as having a revoked driver’s license.

The vehicle, a black Chevy Malibu, sped up as the officer turned on the lights and then the sirens of the squad car.

The speeds during the pursuit reached 110 mph as the deputy followed the car west to U.S. Highway 71, north to County Road 40, west to County Road 9 and then onto County Road 117. The deputy, plus another deputy, located the empty vehicle, still running, about one-quarter mile east of County Road 5 along County Road 117, in Colfax Township.

The complaint notes there were “many, many” beer containers in the car and open containers of alcohol. There was a foot trail from the car into a slough and the deputies located Diegnau nearby. She showed signs of alcohol consumption and wouldn’t say who the driver of the car was, only that the guy had offered her a ride home and that she didn’t know who he was. She wouldn’t say if the driver was Norlin, even when specifically asked by the deputies.

The deputies continued to look for Norlin until 5:50 a.m. Later, around 8:30 a.m., another deputy located a man walking along County Road 24. It was Norlin, who said he was dehydrated and needed water, and he voluntarily entered the deputy’s squad car.

Later that evening, a deputy interviewed Diegnau, who was in custody at the county jail, who said that she and Norlin were at Zorbaz in Spicer and that she was drinking. She wouldn’t say if he had consumed alcohol, but said that she drove for a while and then they switched drivers, with Norlin taking the wheel before the pursuit began.

- Jeramiah Mark Sommers, 20, of New London, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and five years of probation on a fifth-degree drug sale for his role in selling marijuana to a CEEVI Drug Task Force informant.

Sommers was also ordered to follow the recommendations of a chemical use assessment, not use or possess drugs or alcohol and make affirmative efforts to get his GED.

Sommers and Nevin Joseph Rogalski, 21, of New London, were charged in the case. Rogalski was sentenced in February to 30 days in jail, a $750 fine and five years of probation.

 The charges were filed after the informant arranged to purchase 4.4 grams of marijuana for $60 from Rogalski on June 13, 2012, in the parking lot of the county office building in downtown Willmar. The informant told agents that Sommers handed him the marijuana and took the money, while Rogalski was inside the county building.

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