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Homeless woman sentenced in drug charges

The 42-year-old woman, who became homeless when the Merrifield home she was renting was destroyed by fire and who, a week later, was charged for fifth degree possession of drugs, was sentenced Monday in Crow Wing District Court.

Judge Kristine DeMay sentenced Kellie R. Townley to 19 months in the Minnesota Correction Facility in Shakopee with 10 years of that sentence stayed and 180 days in Crow Wing County Jail for fifth-degree possession of schedule 1, 2, 3, 4 — not small amount of marijuana.

Townley and her daughter Latisha Townley were renting a small rambler home on 21892 Crow Wing County Road 3 in Merrifield that was lost to fire on Jan. 30. The Nisswa Fire Department responded with 30 firefighters, along with about eight firefighters each from the Brainerd and Mission Township fire departments.

The Townleys, along with Kellie’s fiance, Latisha and Latisha’s 18-month-old daughter, were in the home at the time of the fire. The Townleys told the Dispatch that the toddler alerted them of the fire while Kellie was sleeping.

The Red Cross helped the family and provided them a hotel to stay in for shelter. According to the Baxter Police Department, officers arrested the women at 1:46 a.m. Feb. 2 at the Rodeway Inn after a report of a disturbance. Latisha’s daughter was taken into emergency care.

According to the criminal complaint against Kellie Townley, a male told the officer that Kellie was involved in an argument and that they both were stressed out since their house just burned down. The officer went to the bathroom and looked inside and he noticed a purse sitting between the shower and the toilet and the side pocket was wide open. In plain view, the officer observed a glass object with a stem and a bowl in the side pocket. In the glass stem and bowl was a white residue of suspected methamphetamine.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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