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Former Sebeka councilman sentenced for kidnapping

A former Sebeka city councilman was sentenced to 90 days in jail and received a stayed sentence of nearly three years in prison for kidnapping a woman and holding her hostage.

Randy Lee Pickar, 54, was sentenced in Wadena County District Court to 90 days jail, 33 months prison which was stayed for 20 years (concurrent with another case), 20 years probation and sentence to service, plus a fine of $1,590. A charge of terroristic threats was dismissed at his sentencing.

According to court records, on March 5, the Wadena County Sheriff's Department received information from a woman who claimed that she was attempting to retrieve personal property Feb. 12 from a home she previously shared with Pickar. The woman said Pickar would not let her leave the home, which he had padlocked and shrink-wrapped to prevent her from leaving. She told authorities he also took her shoes to prevent her from going.

According to court documents, the woman said Pickar told her he had gotten some pills over the Internet and that a murder-suicide was something he was contemplating for her and him. The woman said he terrorized her and kept her locked up for three days, until Feb. 15, and also assaulted her during that time. She said Pickar told her he would keep her in the house "as long as he liked." She told authorities she was finally able to escape the home when another person visited the residence on Feb. 15.

The woman said she had filed for an order for protection from Pickar previously, and feared for her life and her children's.

Pickar has had several run-ins with the law in recent years, some while he was still a councilman. He was charged with disorderly conduct in April 2007 after a bar fight in Wadena County, theft in Hubbard County in January 2008, harassment in Wadena County in March 2008, and theft and theft by swindle in Wadena County in March 2008. He faced another charge of theft this spring.

Pickar was elected to the Sebeka City Council in November 2006 and took office in January 2007. After the theft charges involving city property arose, he submitted a written resignation to the council, which was accepted April 8, 2008.