prison

Staff Shortage Increases Overtime at Minnesota Prisons

The DOC had 113 officer vacancies as of Sept. 17.

ST. PAUL, Minn.–The Minnesota Department of Corrections almost doubled the overtime it paid prison staff in the past year because of a chronic staff shortage. The state’s DOC data shows it paid $12.3 million for more than 262,000 hours of overtime during fiscal year 2019. That’s up from the year before when the DOC paid $6.9 million of overtime for…

Man on Probation for Murder Arrested for Drunken Driving

McIntosh County State's Attorney Mary DePuydt has filed a petition to revoke Caspers' probation.

BISMARCK, N.D.–A return to prison is possible for a man convicted in a 2010 murder after he was arrested this week for driving while intoxicated. 36-year-old Nicholas Caspers served about 6 years in prison for the death of Paul Varner before he was released on probation in 2017. He pleaded guilty to felony murder in 2011. The state Department of…

Teen Who Assaulted Officer Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Johnson is one of four teens charged in the January 2018 disturbance.

BISMARCK, N.D.–A teen who pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer during a disturbance at the Youth Correctional Center in Mandan has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. Seventeen-year-old Gavin Johnson is one of four teens charged in the January 2018 disturbance. Morton County Assistant State’s Attorney Austin Gunderson says Johnson followed a correctional officer into a closet and assisted…

Record Use of Solitary Confinement in Minnesota Last Year

The number of solitary sentences has been going up steadily for the last two years.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ A record number of Minnesota prison inmates were placed in solitary confinement last year. The Minnesota Department of Corrections placed inmates in solitary more than 8,000 times in 2018. Minnesota Public Radio News reports the number of solitary sentences has been going up steadily for the last two years. Last session, the Minnesota Legislature passed…

Patterson Moved to Prison Out of State

The man who kidnapped Jayme Closs has been transferred to a prison out of Wisconsin

BARRON, Wis.  — The man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and killed her parents, has been transferred to a prison out of Wisconsin. State records show that Jake Patterson was moved yesterday but do not say where. Patterson killed Denise and James Closs last October and then abducted their daughter, Jayme. He held her captive for 88 days. He was sentenced…

Sabin Man Sentenced in Crash That Killed Two-Year-Old Boy

The crash in Moorhead killed a two-year-old boy from Breckenridge in 2018

CLAY COUNTY, Minn. — A Sabin man has been sentenced for a crash that killed a two-year-old boy. Forty–two–year Jeremy Sagvold is given 3 years and 6 months in prison for criminal vehicular homicide and a misdemeanor count of careless driving. He was acquitted of manslaughter. The crash killed 2–year–old Zaiden Engen Ness of Breckenridge. In January 2018, Sagvold was…

Man Officially Charged With Setting Breckenridge House On Fire

The fire caused minimal damage

BRECKENRIDGE, MN — A man has been charged with arson for setting fire to the Breckenridge home he was staying in on Sunday. Police found 30-year-old Solomon Wierman in the driveway. He appeared confused and had been drinking. Court documents state that Wierman, who has a history of mental illness, told police that he started the fire in the bedroom where…

Former Ashby Elevator Manager Pleads Guilty In Massive Embezzlement Case

Jerry Hennessey appeared in federal court in Minneapolis to plead guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges

MINNEAPOLIS — The former Ashby elevator manager pleads guilty after he was accused of embezzling over $5 million to fund exotic hunting trips. 56-year-old Jerry Hennessey appeared in federal court in Minneapolis to plead guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges. He’s accused of stealing the money from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator over 15 years. Hennessey recently listed…

Milwaukee Man Gets 25 Years In Prison For Ties To Local Overdoses

Jovan Harris was sentenced on multiple federal drug charges

FARGO, ND — A Wisconsin man is sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug crimes tied to overdoses in the metro, including one fatality in Moorhead. 28-year-old Jovan Harris of Milwaukee was sentenced on multiple federal drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury. The heroin came from Milwaukee. As…

Woman Wins School Board Seat Years After Embezzling From School District

Melissa Starr received 35 write-in votes to win a seat on the Twin Buttes board

TWIN BUTTES, ND —  A woman convicted of embezzling from a school district on the Fort Berthold Reservation has been elected to its school board. Melissa Starr received 35 write-in votes to win a seat on the Twin Buttes board in a special election Tuesday. The town is northwest of Bismarck. Starr pleaded guilty in 2007 to embezzlement and theft…