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Teen faces four felonies for burglary, vandalism

WILLMAR -- Cody Lee Friese, 18, of Willmar, made his first appearance Thursday on four felony charges of burglary, theft, criminal damage to property and receiving stolen property for allegedly burglarizing and vandalizing a home in the city in February.

He was released on his personal recognizance. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is April 13.

Friese pleaded guilty in February to a first-degree damage to property charge for vandalizing the KMS Elementary School in Murdock last summer. He will be sentenced Wednesday on that charge in Swift County District Court.

Friese and Dustin Joseph Woodworth, 18, of Marshall and formerly of Willmar, were charged after a janitor arrived at the school around 6 a.m. Aug. 6 to find extensive damage, including broken windows, spray paint damage and exhausted fire extinguishers at the school. The Swift County Sheriff's Office was called and used a tracking dog and shoe prints to follow a trail from the school to a home along the town's main street. Officers obtained a search warrant, arrested Friese, Woodworth and two others, and found approximately $200 in a school cash bag and candy bars from the school at the home. The two others were later released. Also seized were shoes that matched the prints left at the school where candy and soda vending machines were vandalized.

According to the local complaint, officers were called Feb. 6 to a home along Second Street Southeast. A person who had been watching the home for the resident, who was away, had noticed lights on and broken items in the home and had suspected Friese.

Missing from the home were items including a television, laptop computer and jewelry. Substances, determined to be tomato sauce, chocolate sauce and fingernail polish, had been thrown on the walls. The officer also discovered a burned matchbook on a bed, which appeared to have burned a hole in the comforter. In the kitchen, frozen meals, still cold, were found on the countertop.

Around 11:30 p.m. that day, police and ambulance personnel were called to the Viking Motel to respond to a suicidal person. The ambulance personnel had discovered Friese staggering, leaving a trail of blood from cuts to his arms and torso. He was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital. An officer attempted to interview Friese at the hospital, he declined, but said he had messed up so much that he wanted to kill himself.

Officers found a number of items in the room, including a television, computer parts, gaming systems and jewelry. Another man there said that Friese had brought them into the room.

The investigation, along with information from the resident of the home, guided officers to a local business where Friese had pawned three rings stolen from the home for $200. Local police also discovered that he had pawned or sold several items in St. Cloud.

The total value of items missing from the home was estimated at $6,477 and a total of $3,140 in damage was done to the home and property inside of the dwelling.