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A Nashwauk man allegedly had THC in his system and was in possession of marijuana when he caused a wrong-way, head-on collision that injured a woman along Minnesota Highway 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors last spring. Shawn Patrick Bennett-Casanova, 31, is charged with criminal vehicular operation in the March 2016 crash that left an 18-year-old Silver Bay woman hospitalized. Authorities said Bennett-Casanova was driving south in the northbound lanes of Highway 61 when he collided head-on with another vehicle, also collecting a third car in the process.
Two men, including one with prior convictions for drug sales, face charges after police allegedly seized heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and marijuana during the execution of a search warrant last week in Duluth. Ricky Antoinne Osborne, 33, of Rochester, Minn., and Matthew Robert Bloxton, 21, of Chicago, were charged this week in State District Court with first-degree sale of a controlled substance.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed a Cloquet man's murder conviction for allegedly providing a fatal dose of a prescription painkiller to his daughter's friend. In overturning Robert Todd Ferguson's third-degree murder conviction, the three-judge panel noted that prosecutors failed to provide a written brief in the appeal process.
For the second week in a row, Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken spent his Monday trying to make sense of a recent spate of gun violence in the city. A 37-year-old man in West Duluth was injured late Saturday night when he was struck by a stray bullet that was intended for another person, police said. And the following night, a 19-year-old was taken to a hospital after he was reportedly shot while he was riding in a vehicle on Interstate 35.
A 24-year-old suspect admitted this week to shooting another man during a fight at a downtown Duluth liquor store — resolving his case just 11 days after the crime. Darius Leelionza Handy pleaded guilty Wednesday in State District Court in Duluth to a felony second-degree assault charge. Authorities said Handy, of Montgomery, Ill., fired a point-blank shot into the victim's abdomen after a fight developed at the Lake Superior Bottle Shop, 31 E. First St., on Jan. 21.
An Itasca County jury has awarded a Marble woman more than $28 million in damages after she was paralyzed in a car crash involving a school bus at age 16. Duluth attorney Stephanie Ball said the jury on Jan. 26 awarded Paige Anderson $28.57 million after a seven-day trial in State District Court in Grand Rapids. Anderson, 23, was severely injured in an Oct. 9, 2009, crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and Curley Avenue in Coleraine.
A Duluth man is accused of shooting another man three times during an early Sunday morning argument that stemmed from an alleged burglary. Quentin Kornelius Lake, 27, was charged Tuesday with felony first-degree assault in the shooting outside a residence at 2713 W. Second St. in Lincoln Park. Police would not release the victim's name, and he was identified in the complaint only by initials F.B.F. Prosecutors and police both said the 25-year-old's condition remained critical, with court documents indicating that he suffered two wounds to the chest and one to the hand.
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.