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N.L. man pleads to charge for tampering with electric service at Legion

WILLMAR — Sebastian Allan Amundson, 22, of New London, pleaded guilty Monday to two felony charges, including a first-degree criminal damage to property charge, for tampering with the electrical service components at the American Legion post in New London.

Amundson also pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge for the theft of firearms from a Spicer storage locker last November.

As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, another case, including felony charges of second-degree assault and terroristic threats for a June incident that involved pointing a gun at a woman’s head, will be dismissed. Twelve additional felony counts in the property damage and theft cases will also be dismissed.

Amundson will be sentenced on Dec. 23 by District Judge Michael J. Thompson.

The property damage charges were filed after April 8, when officials at the American Legion reported damage to an electrical box. The responding deputy from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office was met by two electricians and a power company representative, who reported problems at the Legion with the circuit breaker box control panel.

The electricians, the power company representative and the Minnesota Electrical Inspector’s Office had investigated and found the circuit breakers physically blown out of the circuit box on multiple occasions. The electrician informed the deputy that numerous steak knives had been jammed between the components of the electrical box. The knives had burn marks from arcing and there was burned and charred wire recovered from the box.

Staff members at the Legion reported that electrical problems, where the fans in the kitchen stopped working and the building had to be evacuated, had happened on Friday or Saturday nights over several months.

Officials reviewed security camera footage that showed Amundson, who worked there as a cook, going into the utility room where the electrical service was located and then the power going out. A detective and Legion officials compared a list of the outages and Amundson’s time sheets, finding that every power outage happened while Amundson was working.

The investigation also revealed that Amundson had believed he would be promoted to head cook after the prior head cook quit working at the club and was upset when another employee got the job.

The repair bills were tallied at approximately $5,000, plus about $3,000 in lost business due to the closures. The complaint also noted that Amundson filed workers compensation claims for electrical burns to his hands, receiving what the general manager of the Legion called a “sizable” amount of workers compensation money since April 2012.

The theft charges were filed after a sheriff’s deputy was called to a Spicer residence on Nov. 18, 2012, on a report that a storage locker had been burglarized and that the contents of the locker, including six guns and other items, were missing. An individual had witnessed Amundson at the storage facility prior to the report.

Information from an informant included that Amundson had stashed the stolen guns in a fish house parked on a New London property. Officers executed a search warrant on the fish house and found the guns and pharmacy information for Amundson. The owner of the guns positively identified the guns as his property.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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