District Court, Kandiyohi County, Sept. 19
- Jeremy Justin McKenna, 30, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of violating an order for protection and was sentenced to 26 months in prison. The charge was for violating an order for protection by having his mother call the woman to tell her to send him money.
McKenna, who is currently a prisoner at the correctional facility in Lino Lakes, will serve the time concurrently, at the same time, as his current prison term. He was given credit for 141 days already served.
Another felony for violating an order for protection was dismissed by Judge Michael J. Thompson.
McKenna has been convicted four times for violating orders for protection in 1999, 2003, 2006 and in May 2008. He is serving a 29-month prison sentence for the May conviction.
According to court records, McKenna's mother called the victim three times: on May 14, May 20 and June 10. The victim informed police June 13 of the communication. The order for protection prohibited McKenna from having direct or indirect contact with the victim.
The prison provided recorded telephone conversations between McKenna and his mother that included directions from McKenna for his mother to call the victim to ask for money, with a promise from the mother to do so.
- Melissa Ann Garza, now known as Melissa Ann Linares, 32, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to five years probation, 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on a felony charge of aiding and abetting the malicious punishment of a child for beating her then 2-year-old child in January 1997.
The woman was given credit for 107 days already served in jail and will receive a stay of imposition on her sentence. If she complies with court conditions, the felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.
She was also ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim or her family, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 14 or children under 14 in her direct care, including day care setting or residing in the same home.
The charge was filed after Jan. 14, 1997, when a Willmar police investigator was assigned to investigate the case of a 2-year-old girl who had bruises on her face. The investigator and a social worker from Kandiyohi County Family Services went to the home and met with Garza, who admitted to striking the child with an open hand because she wouldn't listen. Garza said injuries to the girl's ears, one was bruised and the other had blood inside of it, were caused when the toddler fought with a sister.
The social worker examined the child and found bruises on her right elbow and back, on the top of her buttocks, on her right upper thigh and her abdomen. Garza admitted to striking the girl with her hand and with a belt.
The social worker, investigator and Garza took the girl to see a pediatrician, who found two broken ribs and broken bone in the girl's arm. The doctor determined they were old injuries. Garza said the broken ribs happened from six to nine months before when the girl was with her grandmother. She said she had no idea how or when the broken arm happened.
- Lucilia Solorio, 19, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having a sexual relationship and a child with a then 15-year-old boy.
As part of a plea agreement, she will receive a stay of adjudication on her sentence.
The charge was filed after an investigation and report from Kandiyohi County Family Services showed that Solorio was living with the boy and his family in Willmar and got pregnant by the boy in 2006. She miscarried in December 2006, but got pregnant again and was reported to be due in February 2007. In an interview with Family Services personnel, she admitted to living with the family, having sex with the boy and being pregnant with his child. In a separate interview, the boy confirmed Solorio's statements. In April, law enforcement confirmed the birth of the child on Feb. 15 and that the boy and Solorio were listed on the state parenting form. DNA samples were collected from all three and sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.
- Daniel Allen Ruter, 38, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and a $1,500 fine on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer.
He was also sentenced to two days in jail, with credit for two days already served. As part of a plea agreement, misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and failure to stop for a railroad crossing were dismissed.
The charges were filed after a police officer observed Ruter violate a railroad crossing signal while driving a snowmobile around 10 p.m. Feb. 13 on Lakeland Drive. A train was on the tracks. The officer was subsequently able to drive his squad alongside the moving snowmobile and put on his signal lights, but the snowmobile driver sped away. A chase followed during which the snowmobile reportedly reached speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Officers found the snowmobile in an area near Ridgewater College where they also placed the defendant under arrest.