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Brainerd man sentenced to lesser charge, attempted murder charge dismissed

First-degree attempted murder charge against a 20-year-old Brainerd man - who allegedly left a woman unconscious and not breathing on the ground near the stairs of a Brainerd residence on Aug. 17, 2013 - have been dropped.

Hunter James Scott Vidmar was sentenced to a lesser charge July 28 by Judge Earl E. Maus in Crow Wing District Court for first-degree assault-to cause great bodily harm. Maus sentenced Vidmar to eight years, seven months, or 103 months, in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for felony first-degree assault, with sentence stayed for 20 years. This means Vidmar is out on probation and if he violates any conditions of his release he may face the prison sentence. Conditions of his release include no contact with the victim, no alcohol or controlled substances, cannot enter a liquor establishment, cannot possess a firearm and is subject to random testing.

Charges of domestic assault by strangulation, fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct and giving peace officer a false name were also dismissed by the judge.

Brainerd police were called to a physical domestic dispute on Walnut Street in Brainerd that involved Vidmar and and a woman with whom he has a child in common. Upon arrival to the residence, the suspect fled the scene and a female was unconscious and not breathing. Brainerd officer Justin Athman started CPR immediately and the female was resuscitated and then transported to Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.

In a Mirandized statement, Vidmar said that he was invited to the residence so they could work on their relationship issues. They started drinking and at one point, the victim got upset with Vidmar because they were "messing around" with other people while on a "break" from one another. Vidmar dumped out the alcohol and said the victim became more upset and slapped him. She yelled an expletive at him and struck him in the head with an empty alcohol container. As Vidmar was leaving, the victim told her sister to call the cops to get him in trouble and then she pushed him down the first flight of stairs. Officers did observe that he had "carpet burn" and bruising on his right forearm and left leg that he alleged to be from being assaulted from the victim.

Vidmar denied any physical contact with the victim other than pushing her away when being struck by the alcohol container and he denied strangling her, too.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Vidmar, the victim's younger sister told authorities that he was on top of the victim in the kitchen area. Vidmar had both hands around her neck and appeared to be squeezing hard. The sister could see and hear that the victim was having difficulty breathing. The victim tried to tell her sister to call 911.