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An Oct. 31 jury trial was set for the remaining defendant facing charges in an alleged rape case involving two victims the night of the 2014 Brainerd High School prom. Twenty-year-old Ryan Mark Hall of Nisswa appeared before Judge Kristine DeMay Monday in Crow Wing County District Court. The hearing for Hall, who is being represented by Public Defender Gregory Brooks Davis, was brief and no motions were made. The date for the jury trial was scheduled Oct. 31 and was agreed upon by both attorneys. The Crow Wing County Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.
A 74-year-old man sentenced in 2013 for sexually abusing young boys over several decades at his Nisswa home is getting out of prison. Thomas Richard Erickson, a Level 3 predatory offender, is set to be released from prison Oct. 31 and will move to a residence in rural Nisswa, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl stated in a news release. Erickson has served the sentence imposed on him by the court, and is transitioning into the community.
FORT RIPLEY—The Camp Ripley Veterans State Trail will not just be another trail. Once completed, it will be Minnesota's first motorized and non-motorized multi-use recreational trail. The state trail will connect six existing Minnesota state trails—Central Lakes, Lake Wobegon, Soo Line, Paul Bunyan, Heartland and the Mi-Gi-Zi—offering one continuous recreational route up to 400 miles across the state.
There are two new faces on the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office Top 10 Most Wanted list for October. Frederick Duane Fisher and Trevor Lee Friel have been taken off the list and Paul Authur Heimark and Christian James Benjamin have been added. They join Brandon Stuart Bearheart, Carla Maxine Cain, Triston Michael Corwin, Steven James Iverson, Chris David Kujawa, Gary George Powers, Terry Thomas Olson and Kenneth Walker Jr. Powers has been wanted by Aitkin County since 1998 and others on the list have been wanted since the early 2000s.
Potential clown threats have been spreading across the country, and the Brainerd lakes area is not immune. There have been police calls this week of potential clown threats in Baxter, Brainerd and Crosby. The Crosby School District dealt with a potential threat Wednesday and Friday morning. The Brainerd School District also received word of a potential "clown threat" in the school district. Superintendent Laine D. Larson sent out a mass email and the district's phone system to all the parents in the district to clarify the issue.
Cathy Wierzbicki of Crosby doesn't consider herself an artist. She said she is more of a quilter who loves to paint. Late this past summer, Wierzbicki decided to utilize the talents God gave her to help others. "I began painting rocking chairs," Wierzbicki said. "I paint them so they look bright and fun. I donated one to the Crosby elementary school, another one to the Elk River school and one for the upcoming Pink Tie Party. I also painted an old vintage lift-top school desk, that we will deliver to a pediatric room at the Brainerd hospital."
"I was daddy's gril and he gave me wahtevre I wantid and I mis my daddy But i know hes in my hart ... I know my Daddy loved me soso much Why do you have to kile my daddy and soth my mom then if my mom ded i want have a mo or dad and I wad be sad." The handwritten note, written down by the 7-year-old daughter of Joseph Kroll and Chelsey Crawford, was among testimony offered Tuesday in the form Victim Impact Statements during the sentencing of the man who shot Kroll and Crawford.
Radar contact between the Brainerd-based crew aboard a North Memorial Air Care helicopter and air traffic control was lost about midway through the helicopter's flight before it crashed Sept. 17 near the edge of Lake Winona in Alexandria, about 86 miles southwest of Brainerd. The information was one finding released Tuesday in the preliminary information released by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. The preliminary report states the information is subject to change and may contain errors.
Tyler Allen Cronquist, the Brainerd man who admitted guilt to shooting two victims in the head, killing one, was sentenced Tuesday to close to 40 years in prison for the crimes. Cronquist, wearing an orange, jail-issued jumpsuit and with his hands and legs in shackles, was escorted to Courtroom 5 to appear before Judge Erik J. Askegaard at the Crow Wing County Judicial Center in Brainerd. He stood next to his public defender, Gregory Brooks Davis, and Carly Vosacek, the assistant public defender. --- VIDEOS • Mary Kroll Victim Impact Statement • Hadley (daughter of Joseph Kroll) Victim Impact Statement --- Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan, the prosecutor of the case, also was present in court. Families of the victims filled the gallery behind Ryan and Cronquist's family filled the gallery behind the defense during the court proceedings. The sentencing came after last week's plea hearing, where the 25-year-old Cronquist admitted guilt to second-degree murder with intent of shooting and killing Joseph Kroll; and second-degree attempted murder with intent, where he shot and seriously injured Chelsey Crawford. Cronquist admitted he intended to shoot both victims with the intent to kill. The original charges of felony first-degree murder with premeditation, attempted first-degree murder with premeditation and two assault charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Before the judge sentenced Cronquist, the court heard emotional Victim Impact Statements from Crawford, her family and from Joey Kroll's family. When the judge asked Cronquist if he had anything to say, he said, "No." Askegaard sentenced Cronquist to 306 months in prison for killing Kroll and 153 months for the attempted murder charge, for a total of 459 months—or just over 38 years in prison. The prison sentence was compliant with the Minnesota sentencing guidelines for Cronquist, which took into account his criminal history score and the nature of the crime. Check back at www.brainerddispatch.com for updates to this story.
The Crow Wing County's Most Wanted list for October has all new faces. As of Friday, there were an estimated 946 total active warrants in the county. On the Most Wanted list this month are Chad Michael Andrews, Kristine Ann Boser, Raymond Thomas Flategraff, Steven David Fuchs, Dustin Allen Hanson, Kristopher Kent Kalweit, Angela Jean Labelle, Toni Laroy Peterson, Gage Colin Sargent and Stephanie Ellen Teel-Tilbury.