Judge sentences Brainerd woman in stalking case
Brainerd woman sent more than 60 text messages to the victim and put a tracking device on his vehicle.
A 31-year-old Brainerd woman accused of putting a tracking device in her ex-fiance’s vehicle pleaded guilty of stalking, falsely reporting crimes and disorderly conduct and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
Brita Johanna Springstead was charged Feb. 14 in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with felony count of stalking and three misdemeanors of falsely reporting a crime, trespassing where she refused to leave a property and disorderly conduct.
According to court documents, the Brainerd woman was sentenced Oct. 15 by Judicial Officer Erik Askegaard. The sentencing order was filed Monday, Oct. 26, and includes the dismissal of the trespassing charge; a conviction of the disorderly conduct charge; and a stay of adjudication sentence on the stalking and falsely reporting a crime charge. A stay of adjudication means there will be no conviction for the offense and it could be dismissed if the person meets all the conditions of their release, it stated on a criminal defense website in Minneapolis. In these cases the person must admit guilt and the judge will not accept their guilty plea.
With the stay of adjudication Springstead was placed on five years of supervised probation and must remain law abiding, have no similar offenses, she comply with mental health treatment and follows a domestic abuse no contact order and have no contact with the victims. She also must pay a $125 fine.
The stay of adjudication for the misdemeanor counts include one year of unsupervised probation.
According to the criminal charges filed against Springstead, the incidents started Jan. 9, when a Crow Wing County deputy responded to a verbal domestic dispute at a day care center in Brainerd. In that instance, Springstead was accused of verbally attacking a man inside the day care, prompting the day care owner to call 911. Springstead was asked to leave the property multiple times and was yelling profanities in front of children.
On Jan. 21, while a Crow Wing County sheriff’s investigator was on the phone with the victim, Springstead struck his vehicle with the front tire of her vehicle while she parked next to him in the Crow Wing County Judicial Center parking lot, the complaint stated. Springstead acknowledged hitting the man’s vehicle but told the investigator it was not on purpose.
On Jan. 22, the victim told the investigator he received up to 60 text messages in a two-day period from Springstead, and Springstead mentioned to him that she knew how to “ping” people’s phones and locate them, which is why she was able to find him at various locations.
The investigation turned up nine-plus calls to law enforcement since the beginning of 2020 reporting Springstead showing up at various places where the victim was. There were similar calls to law enforcement in 2019.
The victim also found a tracking device in his vehicle, plugged into the diagnostic port under the steering column.
On Feb. 13, officers responded to a Baxter restaurant for a report of stalking. The victim’s mother drove his truck to the restaurant because she and the victim believed Springstead was still stalking him. They parked the vehicle so they could see it from the restaurant. A short time later they observed Springstead park in the adjacent business parking lot, exit her vehicle and immediately approach his vehicle. She walked around the vehicle then looked inside. She then entered the restaurant and saw the victim’s mother and left the business.