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A second defendant in the slaying of a Duluth college student is seeking to have his case dismissed, while three others want further access to the grand jury proceedings that resulted in first-degree murder indictments. Four of the five defendants charged in connection with the Feb. 14 fatal shooting of 22-year-old WIlliam Grahek appeared in State District Court on Monday.
A southern Minnesota woman has been charged in a crash that critically injured a bicyclist on Duluth's London Road this summer. Jessica Ann Schoenfelder, 41, is accused of being intoxicated when her SUV struck 45-year-old Francisco "Frankie" Moreno-Sierra in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Moreno-Sierra suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized for several weeks, according to court documents. Authorities said Schoenfelder admitted to drinking at a concert that night, and that a blood draw showed her to be in excess of the legal limit for driving.
For the Duluth Police Department, staffing the annual Christmas City of the North Parade typically is a festive occasion. But Friday's parade was dampened a bit by the farewell appearance of four of its most-visible and popular attractions. The mounted patrol unit, a frequent sight in recent years at community gatherings and around the downtown and Canal Park area, is being disbanded to free up officers for more-pressing roles across the department, Police Chief Mike Tusken said.
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy by an Ashland County Sheriff's Office deputy. The band said in a statement Thursday that it wants the agency's Civil Rights Division to conduct a "criminal civil rights and civil police misconduct investigation" into the Nov. 8 death of Jason Ike Pero.
The one-time manager of Mexico Lindo was sentenced this week to six months in custody for sexually assaulting a customer at the popular Duluth restaurant last summer. Esteban Magana Mata, 35, of Hermantown, began serving his sentence Tuesday at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center after pleading guilty in September to a felony charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
After a mandatory retirement law forced him from his Minnesota Supreme Court seat in 1993, Lawrence Yetka returned to his hometown of Cloquet. The man who had just spent two decades deciding the state's highest-profile cases went to the Carlton County Courthouse with a request. He wanted to ease the burden on local judges by volunteering his time to hear small claims cases a couple days a week.
There is insufficient evidence to show that Tara Rai Baker served as a getaway driver for her brother, boyfriend and another man after the attempted robbery-turned-murder of a Duluth college student — or that she even knew about the fatal shooting until several hours after the fact. That is the argument from defense attorneys seeking dismissal of two felony charges against the 23-year-old Duluth woman in connection with the February death of William Grahek.
An insurance company has agreed to pay nearly $9 million to victims of child sexual abuse as part of the first settlement reached in the Diocese of Duluth’s bankruptcy case. Nebraska-based Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America is one of five insurers that were sued by the diocese, which filed for bankruptcy nearly two years ago and sought to force coverage of 125 abuse claims.
Prosecutors are appealing a judge's ruling that tossed the most serious charges against a man shot by Hibbing police officers after an altercation in January. Sixth Judicial District Judge Mark Starr last month granted a defense motion dismissing an attempted second-degree murder charge and three counts of first-degree assault against 24-year-old Che Nathaniel Jones.
Duluth police investigator John Barrett recognizes that traditional law enforcement techniques often don't work for sexual assault victims. In fact, intrusive interviews and evidence collection procedures can actually have negative impacts on investigations, he said. Peppered with questions, victims can feel like they're being unfairly judged. Struggling to get answers, investigators can become skeptical of the victims' claims.