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This is the records summary for Jan. 17.

Unattended heater burns fish house near Watkins

LITCHFIELD — Officials believe a heater left unattended caused a fire in a fish house Tuesday evening on Clear Lake south of Watkins.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the fire was reported around 9:20 p.m. The owner of the fish house, John Young, 46, of Watkins, was in another fish house on the lake when his second house started on fire. The fish house was a 7x14 homemade wheel house valued at $400 with approximately $1,200 worth of equipment and personal belongings inside.   


KANDIYOHI — A case of identity theft was reported around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday along Fifth Street South.


WILLMAR — A case of theft was reported around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday along the 2600 block of First Street South.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Abel Ricardo Mendoza III, 25, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison, which was stayed, five years of probation, 72 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, of which $500 was stayed, on a felony charge of fifth-degree assault for hitting a man in the head with a beer bottle during a bar fight.

As part of a plea agreement, another felony for third-degree assault was dismissed. He was also ordered to follow the recommendations of a chemical use assessment, have no contact with the victim and not use or possess alcohol or drugs.

The charges were filed after June 9, when Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputies were called around 1:30 a.m. to Zorbaz in Spicer regarding a fight. A man was bleeding from his face and said he’d been hit in the head with a beer bottle. The man said he didn’t know who hit him during the argument that led to a fight involving 10 to 15 people. The owner of the bar identified Mendoza as the perpetrator.

Mendoza had two prior convictions for assault, both in March 2012 in Kandiyohi County.

- Bobby Joel Taylor, 28, of Belgrade, was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in prison and a $500 fine on a fourth-degree drug sale charge for the sale of methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in January 2012.

Taylor was given credit for 270 days already served in custody. Charges in four other criminal cases against him, ranging from theft to check forgery, were dismissed.

Taylor and Juanel Anthony Mikulak, 25, of Danube, were charged in the case. Mikulak was sentenced in September to 23 months in prison and a $500 fine on a fourth-degree drug sale charge.

The charges were filed after Jan. 31, 2012, when the informant met Mikulak at a Willmar motel and they drove to meet Taylor at another Willmar location and exchanged a packet of crystal substance for $100. The informant handed over two packages after the sale was complete, with one package containing 0.9 grams testing positive for meth and another package, weighing 0.8 grams that did not conclusively test as meth. The second package was sent on to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for further testing.

- Kayla Marie Eliason, 24, of Willmar, made her first appearance Wednesday on a felony charge of escape from custody for allegedly absconding from work release on Jan. 9.

Unconditional bail was set at $20,000. Her next appearance is Wednesday.

According to the complaint, Eliason was in the custody of the county jail on a probation violation in a fifth-degree controlled substance possession and was on work release at the county recycling center. Around 1 p.m. on Jan. 9, she was noted as missing from her work release assignment.