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Two more face charges in rural Grove City assault, robbery

Benjamin Keith Berry1 / 2
Tre Anthony Ertl and Michelle Margaret Patzold2 / 2

LITCHFIELD — A second man and a woman have been charged in an alleged assault and robbery Sept. 28 in rural Grove City.

The man who is the alleged victim in the case was punched, threatened with a rifle and had personal items taken from him by the suspects, court documents state.

Benjamin Keith Berry, 32, of Lester Prairie, is facing felony first-degree aggravated robbery — liability for crimes of another and a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault. He is in custody in the Meeker County Jail with unconditional bail set at $150,000.

A warrant has been issued for a 29-year-old woman from Grove City on charges of felony first-degree aggravated robbery — liability for crimes of another. Her whereabouts are currently unknown, according to court records.

Tre' Anthony Ertl, 20, of Litchfield, has already been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault. He is currently in the Meeker County Jail with bail set at $150,000.

Also connected to the case and charged with felony aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery by obstructing an investigation is Michelle Margaret Patzold, 33, of Litchfield. She allegedly tossed a rifle used in the robbery and assault into Star Lake after Ertl asked her to remove it from his family's home. The gun was later recovered by the Litchfield Dive Team.

According to court documents, a man was driven to a residence in rural Grove City, with Ertl driving the vehicle. Upon arrival, Ertl got out of the vehicle, while the man initially stayed put. He heard Ertl speaking with Berry about putting him in the trunk of the vehicle, court documents said.

As the man got out of the vehicle, Ertl allegedly opened the trunk and removed a rifle, pointing it at him. Ertl and Berry also allegedly punched the man after they took a bag from him with personal items in it, court documents said. Ertl then threatened to shoot the man in the knees, who then allegedly asked if Ertl was going to kill him for nothing.

A witness to the incident allegedly put a stop to it, with Ertl putting the gun away.

After Ertl put the gun away, the female suspect allegedly asked the man if he wanted to live and said she would get him away, court documents said. She allegedly drove him to a gas station in Paynesville, but before dropping him off requested the man's jacket because she had "saved his life." The man handed over the jacket and got out of the vehicle. He called law enforcement shortly afterward.

Berry's next court date is Oct. 25.