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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WILLMAR -- Lindon Roy Knutson, 62, was sentenced Thursday to 26 years in prison, and conditional release for the rest of his life, for the sexual assault of a woman at Crow River Lutheran Church near Belgrade. Knutson had been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for the attack on a 73-year-old woman in November. The 312-month prison sentence was a "double upward departure" -- or twice the presumptive sentence in state sentencing guidelines. The departure is allowed by state statute in cases involving sexually dangerous offenders. Judge Michael J.
WILLMAR -- Lindon Roy Knutson, 62, was sentenced today to 312 months in prison, and conditional release for the rest of his life, on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for sexually assaulting a 73-year-old woman last November at Crow River Lutheran Church near Belgrade. The sentence was a double upward departure from state sentencing guidelines, which is allowed by state statute in the cases of sexually dangerous offenders. Judge Michael J. Thompson handed down the sentence in Kandiyohi County District Court.
BENSON -- Area law enforcement agencies are joining a statewide seat belt enforcement campaign and conducting Safe and Sober impaired driving patrols just in time for the Memorial Day holiday and high school graduation season. According to Willmar Police Officer Marilee Dorn, the patrols begin May 24. Officers from Willmar, Kandiyohi County, Benson, Swift County, Chippewa County and the State Patrol attended an event Wednesday in Benson as a prelude to the campaign. It's been a year since state law changes were passed, making a seat belt violation a primary offense.
WILLMAR -- A 27-year-old Willmar woman was found guilty last week of a gross misdemeanor for serving alcohol to an underage person during alcohol compliance checks conducted last October by the Willmar Police Department. It's the $1 fine -- which reduces the conviction to a petty misdemeanor -- handed down by District Judge Michael J.
WILLMAR -- Amner Neftali Ramos Zui, 26, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to five years of probation and 141 days in jail, and ordered to cooperate with agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after being convicted of two felony charges of false impersonation. Ramos Zui, also known as Luis Alfredo Perez Lopez, was also sentenced to two years probation and 365 days in jail on a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal vehicular homicide or operation. He was given credit for 141 days already served, with the remaining 224 days stayed. The charge stemmed from a Dec.
NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board heard a proposal Monday for adding exploratory classes at the district's middle school and a presentation by high school students on the design of the new playground at Prairie Woods Elementary School. The exploratory classes, during an "early bird" session before school and during the first hour of classes, would offer students a taste of subjects they could pursue more in high school, according to Trish Perry, middle school principal. "We want kids to be excited about learning," she said.
WILLMAR -- Jessica Beth Kruger, 29, of Litchfield, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony theft charge for taking $39,516.99 intended to help students pay school expenses from Lutheran Social Service in Willmar. As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, she paid $13,000 in restitution on Thursday and will make arrangements to repay the remainder of the money and will receive a stay of imposition on her sentence.
WILLMAR -- Jared John Netzke, 22, of New Ulm, was sentenced Wednesday to 120 days in the county jail, a $1,500 fine and 20 years of probation on third-degree drug possession for his role in selling methamphetamine to a drug task force informant in February. As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was reduced from second-degree drug possession. Netzke was also ordered to cooperate with a chemical use assessment and follow the recommendations, get a job and make an affirmative effort to get his GED. Netzke and Esteban J.
WILLMAR -- Harvey Alford Carlson, 77, of Pennock, was found guilty Thursday of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting a girl when she was 5 to 11 years old. The verdict, handed down by Judge Michael J. Thompson, came after a two-day court trial in Kandiyohi County District Court. Carlson was or-dered to be taken into custody and will be sentenced June 25. He will be sentenced under the state statutes from 1988 to 1994, when the abuse happened.
WILLMAR -- Steven Douglas Byers, 55, of Kerkhoven, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and 10 years of probation for stealing more than $17,000 from West Central Industries. Byers was ordered to pay $21,030.96 in restitution, which includes $17,676.96 stolen from WCI, plus additional costs for fin-ancial re-cords audits and attorney fees. Under a plea agreement reach-ed in Kandiyohi County District Court, nine additional felony charges of financial transaction card fraud and theft against Byers were dismissed.