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FARGO — A federal judge has denied prosecution requests to bar expert witnesses from testifying on behalf of the defense at an upcoming hearing in the case of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., who is seeking to have his conviction and death sentence set aside in the kidnapping and murder of Dru Sjodin. Rodriguez, who is in his mid-60s, was sentenced to death for the 2003 death of Sjodin, a 22-year-old University of North Dakota student.
AUDUBON, Minn. — The Becker County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, confirmed that one person died in a shooting here Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 13, and one person was taken into custody. The name of the deceased, a male, was not released. The person arrested was identified by the sheriff's office as Michaelray Ericthomas Mason, 29, of Audubon. Mason was being held in the Becker County Jail Wednesday morning. The incident was reported about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday at a home in Audubon, and law enforcement officers were on the scene late into the night.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — An Otter Tail County sheriff's deputy has been cleared of criminal charges in an August shooting that took place during the capture of a suspect on various charges, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. According to the Otter Tail County Attorney's Office, Deputy Zachary Eifert's firing of a gun on Aug. 22 was justified and no criminal charges are warranted. The charging decision was based on a review of the case done by the Clay County Attorney's Office, the statement said.
MOORHEAD — A 20-year veteran of the Moorhead Police Department has submitted his resignation after pleading guilty to a DWI charge stemming from an arrest in early August. Sgt. Thad Stafford, 44, said Thursday, Oct. 18, that his resignation will become effective Dec. 31.
FARGO — An intriguing aspect of the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind is the fact Fargo police made three consensual searches of the apartment where she was murdered and her baby was cut from her womb, but nothing suspicious was found during any of them.
MOORHEAD — A Moorhead woman suspected of kidnapping two of her own children was arrested at her home about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, police said. Izetta Cooley, 39, was taken into custody without incident on a warrant out of Mower County in far southeast Minnesota, where she faces two counts of kidnapping and two counts of violating a custody order, all felonies. Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson said four of Cooley's children were also found in the house at 1213 Main Ave. in Moorhead, and they were placed in the care of Clay County Social Services.
FARGO — Day eight of William Hoehn's murder conspiracy trial in Cass County District Court saw fireworks early on in the form of Jennifer Robinson, an inmate at the Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in New England, N.D.
FARGO — Judge Thomas Olson said Wednesday, Sept. 26, that a jury — not he — will decide the fate of William Hoehn, who's accused of conspiring to kill Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind in August 2017. Olson said after prosecutors rested their case Wednesday afternoon in Cass County District Court that a jury will be the finder of facts in the case, and he said jurors could reasonably conclude that Hoehn conspired to kill LaFontaine-Greywind based on testimony from his ex-girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, Brooke Crews.
FARGO — The trial of William Hoehn on conspiracy to commit murder was hit with two bombshells Tuesday, Sept. 25. The first landed Tuesday morning, when his alleged co-conspirator and ex-girlfriend, Brooke Crews, testified that Hoehn strangled Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, 22, as she lay bleeding on the floor of the couple’s bathroom.
FARGO — The attorney for a man accused of conspiring to kill a pregnant Fargo woman said his client is not guilty of that crime, but he is guilty of something else — loving his co-defendant too much. Defense attorney Daniel Borgen presented an opening argument Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the trial of William Hoehn during which he described a scene from Aug. 19, 2017, when Hoehn, according to Borgen, came home from work early and unexpected to find the woman he loved next to a dead body and in possession of a newborn baby.