Crime briefs from the UnionHerald for the week of July 18

Ramsey man gets probation on DWI plea

A Ramsey man with a prior felony DWI conviction had prison time stayed in Anoka County District Court July 7 after entering a guilty plea to another felony DWI charge.

Chaz Cody McGill, 32, was arraigned in court in August 2013 on two felony DWI charges as well as a felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle count for an incident in Coon Rapids.

Jan. 14, McGill entered a guilty plea to one of the DWI charges, and the other DWI count as well as the felony fleeing police charge were dismissed at sentencing July 7.

Defense counsel filed a motion requesting a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines, which call for prison time on a second felony DWI conviction. The court agreed to the motion, staying a 48-month prison term while placing McGill on probation for seven years.

But McGill must serve 90 days in jail starting each year Aug. 1 from 2014 through 2017.

Probation conditions include random breath and urinalysis tests, no use of alcohol and mood-altering chemicals, no use or possession of firearms and complete “steering clear” or similar programs as directed by the Anoka County Corrections Department.

The evening of Aug. 9, a Coon Rapids Police officer on patrol on Highway 10 near Egret Boulevard spotted a motorcycle driven by McGill coming up behind him really fast in the westbound lane, going approximately 100 mph, according to the complaint.

The motorcycle passed the officer, who activated his emergency lights and siren, but the motorcyclist sped away at speeds topping 120 mph, the complaint states.

The pursuit lasted some 6 miles before McGill exited Highway 10 at Ferry Street in Anoka and stopped.

On speaking with McGill, the officer noticed he had a strong odor of alcohol and when asked, he said he did not know, but admitted traveling about 140 mph.

McGill refused to take the preliminary breath test, but at the police station after being read the implied consent advisory, he agreed to take a breath test and registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.13.

According to the complaint, McGill was convicted of felony DWI in Minnesota March 27, 2007.

~ Peter Bodley

Two Coon Rapids residential burglaries

 Two residential burglaries, which took place while the homeowners were gone over the Fourth of July weekend, are under investigation by the Coon Rapids Police Department.

The late evening of July 4, a resident on the 70 block of 98th Avenue reported that she had returned home to find a window broken on the northwest corner of the residence and the rooms rummaged through.

According to the Coon Rapids Police report, jewelry was stolen, as well as two credit cards and a wallet from a purse.

The credit cards were later used at the Blaine Wal-Mart by unknown suspect(s), the police report states.

A couple returned to their home on the 900 block of 124th Lane Northwest the early afternoon of July 6 after being out of town since July 3 to find a burglary had taken place.

A fence gate had been unlocked and entry was made into the house by prying open the sliding deck door with a tool, damaging both the door and the jam.

A bottle of oxycontin containing 10 to 15 pills plus $50 in change was reported stolen from the kitchen counter, a safe in a spare bedroom was forced open and Mexican and German currency was taken as were American silver dollars, and from the main bedroom another $50 in change plus a green heart-shaped necklace were taken.

~ Peter Bodley

Felony charges reduced to gross misdemeanor plea

 A Coon Rapids man, charged with three felonies in Anoka County District Court for allegedly assaulting and sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy, has pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge.

In a plea agreement May 30, Victor Lee Tjepkes, 29, entered a guilty plea to a gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child charge. At sentencing June 27, two felony counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one felony second-degree assault charge and a misdemeanor domestic assault were dismissed.

The court placed Tjepkes on probation for two years, stayed 293 days of jail time and gave him credit for 72 days spent in jail. The court also stayed $2,950 of a $3,000 fine.

Probation conditions include a domestic no contact order, counseling, anger management and parenting classes, no alcohol- or drug-related offenses and no use or possession of firearms.

According to the complaint, Coon Rapids Police, at the request of Polk County, Wisconsin, officials, conducted a welfare check at a 107th Avenue Northwest address Oct. 24, 2013, where they found Tjepkes, his children, a boy, 7, and a girl, 4, plus an adult male and two adult women, who all lived in the home.

In separate interviews with officers, both women alleged that Tjepkes was “remarkably violent” with his son, describing several incidents, including the night of Oct. 22 when he allegedly shot the boy with an airsoft gun, then later pistol whipped him with the butt of the gun, and the next night, Oct. 23, when he again allegedly shot the boy with an airsoft gun.

Witnesses also alleged that Tjepkes forced the children to eat meals he had prepared of hot peppers, despite the pain it caused them and the reaction of the children.

According to the complaint, both the boy and other witnesses told police that Tjepkes had sexually assaulted the 7-year-old with a stick.

Defense counsel filed a motion April 24 to dismiss the charges for lack of probable cause, to suppress statements made by Tjepkes to police for alleged Miranda violations and also to suppress items seized by police at the residence because the search was not voluntary.

According to court documents, at a court hearing May 2, the probable cause issue was not resolved and the judge directed both attorneys to submit briefs including the video statements of the children, while the Miranda issue was not pursued and the prosecutor agreed not to use search and seizure evidence involving a BB gun and ammunition.

The guilty plea to the gross misdemeanor charge came at the next court hearing May 30.

~ Peter Bodley

Prison time stayed on felony guilty plea

Prison time has been stayed for a man who pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to a felony charge of receiving stolen property after an incident in Coon Rapids.

Robert Todd Howe, 52, no permanent address, was sentenced July 8 after entering a guilty plea March 19.

Howe was placed on probation after the court stayed a 17-month prison sentence, and he was given credit for 224 days spent in jail. But he must pay a $50 fine and make restitution totaling $1,395.14.

Probation conditions include completing treatment and aftercare, no use of alcohol and mood-altering chemicals, and random testing.

While Coon Rapids Police Detective Bill Steiner was investigating an unrelated matter July 22, 2013, at Dot Mini Storage, 9900 Vale St. NW, the facility manager pointed out a suspicious Ford pickup truck parked in the outdoor storage area.

According to the complaint, a customer, identified as Howe, asked to store the truck in the outdoor area July 15, 2013, and was told he could do so next to a vehicle he already had there, but when the Ford pickup truck arrived, the manager became suspicious because it appeared similar to a truck Howe had already stored that had a blown transmission.

The manager became even more suspicious when the truck had a canvas cover over it, which he thought was strange because it was not in very good condition, the complaint states.

Steiner ran the license plates of the Ford pickup and found they had been stolen in New Brighton, then when he ran the truck’s VIN number, it showed that it had been stolen in New Brighton July 15 or 16, according to the complaint.

A warrant was issued for Howe’s arrest on the charge Oct. 29, 2013; he was arrested and arraigned in court Nov. 15, 2013.

~ Peter Bodley

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