Weather Forecast



This is the records summary for July 18.

Litchfield woman killed in crash

KIMBALL — A 72-year-old Litchfield woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash reported around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday along State Highway 24 in Meeker County.

According to the State Patrol and the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Gloria J. Nething was westbound in a 1999 Plymouth minivan on 330th Street, ran the stop sign at Highway 24 and was struck by a northbound 2009 Peterbilt semi driven by Jesse Albright, 34, of Royalton.

Nething was pronounced dead at the scene. Albright refused medical treatment.

The semi was pulling a trailer full of corn, which tipped over when both vehicles went into the ditch. The semi and trailer are owned by RJ Lanners Inc. of Royalton.

The crash is under investigation. Also responding were the Gold Cross Ambulance and the Kimball Fire and Rescue departments.

Drivers hurt in

head-on crash

south of Willmar

WILLMAR — The two drivers of vehicles that crashed head-on around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of County Roads 8 and 3 were both taken to receive treatment for injuries.

According to the crash report by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, Kathryn Vruwink, 66, of Willmar, was southbound on County Road 8 in a 2011 and was struck head-on by a northbound 1999 Chrysler driven by Roxanne Smith, 38, of Lake Lillian.


WILLMAR — An assault was reported around 3:25 p.m. Tuesday along the 800 block of Park Avenue Northwest.

WILLMAR — Two men were arrested on charges of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct after a 24-year-old man reported he’d been assaulted just before midnight Tuesday along the 400 block of Becker Avenue Southwest.

WILLMAR — An assault with a knife was reported around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. The incident happened under the First Street bridge.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Randall Gene Mulligan, 47, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in prison, which was stayed, five years of probation, 90 days in jail and a $1,500 fine on a third degree drug sale charge for selling methamphetamine, pills and marijuana to a CEEVI Drug Task Force informant.

 Mulligan was also ordered to complete a chemical use assessment and follow the recommendations. He was given credit for 90 days already served in custody.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from second-degree level and another second-degree drug charge, for possessing 9.7 grams of meth when officers served a search warrant on his residence, were dismissed.

Daniel Martinez, 36, of Willmar, and Kay Hagen, 49, of Montevideo, were charged in the case. Martinez has also pleaded guilty to a third-degree sale charge and will be sentenced on Aug. 14.

Hagen pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree charge and was sentenced in June to 30 days in jail, 150 hours of community service, five years of probation and a $50 fine.

According to the complaints, the informant purchased nine morphine pills and 4.6 grams of marijuana from Martinez on Dec. 19 at a residence along Litchfield Avenue. The informant also purchased 0.7 grams of meth from Martinez on Dec. 7 at a southeast Willmar home.

On Feb. 27, the informant purchased 2.8 grams of meth, with both Martinez and Mulligan participating in the sale, in the parking lot of a business on U.S. Highway 12 East.

Agents followed the vehicle involved in the drug sale to a residence along County Road 9 Southeast, where a search warrant was served March 8. The three defendants and another person were located in the home. Mulligan told officers that all of the paraphernalia located in the kitchen, including syringes and spoons that tested positive for meth, belonged to him.

When he was interviewed, Martinez claimed the 9.7 grams of meth located in a bedroom and also admitted to selling drugs.

- Jill Louise Pochardt, 28, of New London, pleaded guilty Wednesday to an amended gross misdemeanor charge of issuing a dishonored check.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from felony level and a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a crime will be dismissed. She will be sentenced Aug. 27.

 The charges were filed after a Willmar Police officer was dispatched on July 6, 2012, to Accessories 4 Trucks regarding a bad check written to the business. The owner reported that a check for $270.33 had been written on a Wells Fargo Bank account belonging to Pochardt.

Two people, Amanda Rose Watnaas, 23, and Eric Michael Skindelien, 28, both of Clara City, were charged with check forgery for writing the check, plus other bad checks for a total of $2,559.44 between May 24 and June 19 at businesses in Willmar, Spicer and Paynesville.

The investigation revealed that Pochardt had reported that Watnaas had been given permission to write one check on her checking account, but that Watnaas had written more checks. However, Watnaas and Skindelien told investigators that Pochardt gave Watnaas the checks and allowed Watnaas to sign Pochardt’s name. In fact, they said Pochardt was with them when they wrote the bad checks.

Both Watnaas and Skindelin pleaded guilty to theft by check, admitting that they knew there wasn’t money in the account to cover the purchases.

The pair was charged with forgery because of the false information provided by Pochardt.

- Jordan Craig Rue, 21, of Redwood Falls, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a third-degree assault charge for hitting a man during a bar fight and breaking the man’s nose.

 He will be sentenced Aug. 27.

 According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputies were called on June 23. 2012, to Zorbaz in Spicer regarding an assault. A man there reported that he had attempted to break up a bar fight between two women and that he had been hit in the nose and thought it was broken. Two security officers told deputies that Rue was the man who hit the victim in the face.

- Ernestina Gomez, 31, of LeCenter and formerly of Willmar, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of property damage.

As part of a plea agreement, a felony charge of first-degree damage to property and two other misdemeanors for property damage and assault were dismissed.

She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 83 days stayed and credit for 7 days already served, plus a $100 fine and one year of probation. She was also ordered to pay $4,431 in restitution, with her co-defendants.

Gomez was one of three siblings charged for their roles in assaulting a man and causing more than $3,000 in damage to his vehicle in September.

Two felony property damage and two misdemeanor assault charges against Crystal Ruth Gomez, 24, of LeCenter and formerly of Willmar, were continued for dismissal. The charges will be dismissed if she successfully completes nine months of probation and testifies against another defendant charged in the case.

Marc Anthony Gomez, 34, of Willmar, was sentenced in February to 365 days in jail, with 358 days stayed, a total of $4,000 in fines, of which $3,450 was stayed, and two years of probation on an amended charge of gross misdemeanor property damage and a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault.

According to the complaints against the trio, Willmar police were called around 11:20 p.m. Sept. 15 to El Tapatio restaurant along First Street South. A man there said that Marc Gomez assaulted him in a restroom and then all three of the siblings followed him to a vehicle in the parking lot where they continued to assault him and damage his vehicle. The man reported that the attack was unprovoked. He went to Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The officers found that the body of his vehicle was dented and the paint was scraped. The estimate to fix the damage to the vehicle was $3,128.14.

Two days later, the man gave a further statement to police, including that Marc Gomez hit him in the restaurant, but that all three participated in the assault and vehicle damage in the parking lot. Police contacted all three of the siblings, who gave various statements admitting or denying that they were at the restaurant or that there was an altercation that evening.