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Yellow Medicine County defendant loses appeal, to serve consecutive sentences

GRANITE FALLS -- A defendant has lost his appeal and will have to serve consecutive prison sentences for assaults against two officers booking him into the Yellow Medicine County Jail.

Lance Odegard
Lance Odegard

GRANITE FALLS - A defendant has lost his appeal and will have to serve consecutive prison sentences for assaults against two officers booking him into the Yellow Medicine County Jail.

In an opinion issued Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Lance Martin Odegard, 43.

The Yellow Medicine County District Court ordered him to serve consecutive sentences of 36 and 39 months for felony fifth-degree assault convictions, each the maximum possible for a defendant with his criminal record.

Odegard argued that the District Court abused its discretion by imposing multiple consecutive sentences. The assaults occurred as part of one incident. He also argued that his chemical dependency and mental health issues should have been considered mitigating factors.

A Yellow Medicine County jury returned guilty verdicts to felony fifth-degree assault charges against Odegard on May 19, 2017.

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The criminal complaint charged that Odegard, of St. Cloud, was being processed for entry into the Yellow Medicine County Jail on March 7, 2017, after being taken into custody on an outstanding warrant. During the booking process, he became upset and assaulted the arresting deputy and a corrections officer.

After being restrained, he threatened further harm to the deputy.

In its opinion affirming the sentence, the Court of Appeals noted that the assaults were committed against two victims. The sentences did not "unfairly exaggerate the criminality of his conduct,'' the court stated.

During sentencing, the District Court described the assaults as more serious than a typical assault because they occurred in a jail. The District Court also pointed to Odegard's criminal record of 63 prior offenses.

Odegard is currently held at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility. According to the Department of Corrections offender information available online, his expected release date is Aug, 13, 2019.

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