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A couple allegedly drove to Duluth from the St. Cloud area on Friday with the intention of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl they had met online. Criminal charges filed Tuesday in State District Court also indicate that Phillip James Adkins, 34, and Kayla Marie Frank, 33, sent the teen a series of lewd photos, videos and messages through Facebook before arranging the meeting.
The swearing-in ceremony for new police officers always comes with its fair share of pomp and circumstance, but Friday's event at the Duluth Police Department came with an unexpected twist. As Manuel Matos, one of eight new officers on the force, stepped forward to receive his badge, his girlfriend was summoned to do the honors of pinning it on his chest. But Sgt. Joel Olejnicak introduced Stephany Burns as Matos' fiancee. And the new officer quickly dropped down to one knee, producing a shiny ring and placing it on her finger.
A Grand Rapids man charged with randomly stabbing a Hibbing man to death last week will undergo a mental health evaluation. Sixth Judicial District Judge David Ackerson ordered the evaluation at a hearing Thursday for 32-year-old suspect Benjamin David Lundquist. Lundquist is charged with intentional second-degree murder in the slaying of Joel Dean Gangness, who was found dead inside his Hibbing apartment with more than a dozen stab wounds and other injuries on Jan. 17.
A 32-year-old man arrested earlier this week allegedly admitted to authorities that he has no permanent address and had been making frequent trips from the Twin Cities to Duluth to sell heroin. Antwan Dwayne Ray was formally charged Wednesday in State District Court with a felony count of first-degree sale of heroin. Police said he was arrested Monday at a West Duluth apartment building with more than $11,000 in cash and approximately 25 grams of heroin prepackaged for sale.
A Hibbing commercial truck driver who has a history of traffic collisions brought on by a medical condition will go to trial on a criminal vehicular homicide charge in Lake County, where authorities said he caused an October 2015 crash that killed a Silver Bay man. John Ray Carpenter, 60, is accused of operating a vehicle in a "grossly negligent manner" after allegedly falling asleep or losing consciousness at the wheel of his septic tanker, causing a crash that killed 31-year-old Andrew Johnson.
A 24-year-old suspect allegedly fired a point-blank shot into another man's abdomen during a fight inside a downtown Duluth liquor store over the weekend. Darius Leelionza Handy was charged Tuesday with felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the shooting at the Lake Superior Bottle Shop, 31 E. First St., on Saturday night.
VIRGINIA — An Iron Range man who admitted to taking part in an April 2014 stabbing death was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison on Monday, bringing final resolution to a case that has lingered in the courts for nearly three years. Bartholamy Jake Drift, 42, received a 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. He admitted that he stabbed Jacka in the chest inside a Virginia apartment.
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.