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VIRGINIA — The final remaining defendant in an April 2014 Virginia slaying was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison on Monday. Bartholamy Jake Drift, 42, received the 386-month sentence from Judge James Florey in State District Court in Virginia. Drift pleaded guilty in September 2015 to an intentional second-degree murder charge in the death of 28-year-old Harley Joseph Jacka. His sentencing had been postponed while he agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of three other co-defendants.
HIBBING — A Grand Rapids man has been charged with fatally stabbing a 52-year-old Hibbing man inside his residence. A criminal complaint filed in State District Court identifies the victim of the Tuesday homicide as Joel Dean Gangness. The suspect, 32-year-old Benjamin David Lundquist was formally charged Thursday with intentional second-degree murder.
VIRGINIA — A Hibbing girl admitted Wednesday that she witnessed the killing of her 20-year-old roommate and helped transport his body to an old mine pit in Mountain Iron, where the killer set fire to his remains. Julianna Christine Sala, 17, pleaded guilty in juvenile court to aiding an offender in intentional second-degree murder. Sala testified under oath that she was in her bedroom when she heard a commotion and emerged to find 19-year-old Dylan Bernard Gilbertson brutally assaulting their roommate, Jaysen Greenwood.
A 48-year-old Duluth woman allegedly threatened a Central Hillside resident with a knife, stole a tablet computer and fur coat from her apartment and set a mattress on fire during an incident last week. Cindy Jo Libby was charged Wednesday in State District Court with felony counts of first-degree burglary and first-degree aggravated robbery. The fire, which broke out at about 1 a.m. Jan. 11 in a duplex at 219 E. Third St., caused an estimated $25,000 in damage.
An Ely police official admitted Tuesday to having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a girl under the age of 18. Sgt. Jason Allen Carlson, 38, pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of misconduct of a public officer at a hearing in State District Court in Virginia. Carlson, who was described as an acquaintance to the girl's parents, carried out a relationship with the teen during late 2014 and early 2015, according to a criminal complaint.
The Carlton County Drug Court is receiving a boost from a new partnership with Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. The school recently received a $20,000 grant from the Northland Foundation, providing for a project that aims to provide life-management classes and recovery support services to 30 participants in the drug court program. The project incorporates the Life Beyond Addiction program pioneered by the late Earnie Larsen, a nationally known addiction recovery author and lecturer from Minnesota.
A Virginia man who is set to be the fourth and final defendant sentenced in an April 2014 stabbing death will seek to withdraw his guilty plea — adding yet another wrinkle to an unusually complicated and prolonged case. Bartholamy Jake Drift, 42, is scheduled to appear in State District Court in Virginia for sentencing on Jan. 23. Drift was the first person to admit to his role in the stabbing death of 28-year-old Harley Joseph Jacka inside a Virginia apartment. He pleaded guilty to an intentional second-degree murder charge in September 2015.
A former Alborn man was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison Friday for sexually abusing a girl when she was about 7 or 8 years old. Shane Anthony Spicer, 43, of Wadena, Minn., was convicted by a St. Louis County jury on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in August. Authorities said the victim, now 16, came forward in February 2014 and was interviewed at the First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center in Duluth.
The suspect in a fatal Duluth shooting in October has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Aaron Demetrius Humphreys, 42, waived his right to a contested omnibus hearing at a brief appearance in State District Court in Duluth on Thursday afternoon. At an omnibus hearing, a defendant has the right to argue that there is insufficient evidence to establish probable cause or contend that his or her constitutional rights were violated in the accumulation of evidence.
A 25-year-old Duluth man has been charged in connection with a New Year’s Day homicide outside a Superior bar. Authorities say witnesses placed Jamar Maurice Smith with a gun at the scene of the double shooting, though he has not been charged with the homicide. Smith, who authorities say goes by the alias “Band-Aid,” was charged by warrant Monday with being a felon in possession of a firearm and misdemeanor bail jumping.