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Atwater man gets jail, probation for rollover crash, burglary

WILLMAR -- Travis Charles Berends, 19, of Atwater was sentenced Thursday to 210 days in jail, a $1,500 fine and 10 years of probation on a felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide or injury for a Nov. 15 rollover crash that injured several passengers.

As part of his sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, Berends was ordered to serve 150 days of the jail time immediately, attend a MADD panel, write an apology letter and submit to a chemical dependency evaluation.

He was given credit for nine days already served in jail. An additional 60 days of jail time can be deferred if he is in compliance with probation requirements.

Berends was also sentenced to 150 days in jail, five years of probation and a $1,500 fine for a Nov. 10 burglary of an Atwater home.

According to the criminal vehicular complaint, numerous Kandiyohi County deputies responded to a single-vehicle rollover crash around 6 a.m. Nov. 15 along County Road 3 in Fahlun Township.

The investigation revealed there were four people inside the vehicle, including Berends. They were transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. When interviewed, he said he had been drinking and didn't remember driving.

Two passengers, John Springer and Cody Ledeboer, told officers Berends was driving, speeding and very mad. Ledeboer suffered seven broken ribs, a bruised heart, a punctured lung and numerous lacerations on his leg. The fourth passenger, Sasha Delagarza, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

According to the burglary complaint, an Atwater man reported to the city police department around 3:15 p.m. Nov. 10 that his home had been burglarized and a laptop and purse were missing. He believed that Berends had committed the crime.

Berends was interviewed and denied involvement. However, after the Nov. 15 accident, documents from the stolen purse were found in his vehicle by officers.

He was interviewed again and admitted that he and John Springer had gone to the home and took the laptop and purse.

Another Atwater officer had stopped their vehicle that day, after a citizen had called reporting a suspicious car near the home. The driver was identified as Berends and the officer identified Springer after being shown his photograph.

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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