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Fillmore County District Court - August 2, 2010


Fri, Jul 30th, 2010
Posted in Court

On July 26, 2010, Laura Lynn Kahoun, a 27-year old white female from Rushford, MN, appeared in District Court with her attorney, Frederick S. Suhler, before Judge Robert R. Benson facing four counts involving controlled substance crime in the fifth degree, possession; two counts of theft; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted on all four counts, Ms. Kahoun could face up to 90 days in jail, 10 years in prison, and fines amounting to $21,300. Prosecuting attorney is Brett Corson. On April 29, 2010, Rushford Police Officer Steven Garrett was on a routine patrol when he was dispatched to a residence where he was advised a possible theft of prescription drugs was in progress. Upon arriving at the Rushford residence, Officer Garrett was met at the door by the family and noticed the defendant, Laura Kahoun, standing off to herself in the room. He recognized the defendant from previous contact and at this time Officer Garrett was told that she arrived at the house and asked if she could use their restroom. Thinking she was a friend of his stepdaughter, the father allowed her to use their bathroom. It was while she was in the bathroom that the mother and her daughter came into the hall and could hear the medicine cabinet being opened. The daughter opened the door to the bathroom and caught the defendant going through her mother's make-up bag. At this point, they decided to call the police even though the defendant denied she had taken anything from the bathroom. However, after she was taken into custody and placed in the police car, Officer Garrett inspected her purse and found prescription medication belonging to the family, make-up and also two marijuana pipes. As time went on the defendant's speech slurred and her balance was questionable. She was taken to the Fillmore County Jail. Judge Benson set conditional bail at $3,000 and unconditional bail at $6,000. She will be notified of her next court appearance.

Charles Curtis Erickson, a 27-year old white male from Spring Valley, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court on July 26, 2010, facing criminal counts that involve manslaughter in the second degree, criminal vehicular homicide, driving while impaired in the second and third degree, reckless driving, seat belt violation and speeding. If convicted on all charges, Mr. Erickson could spend up to 54 years in prison plus 90 days in county jail and be required to pay fines totaling over $112,000. On the night of March 22, 2010, Minnesota State Trooper Stephen Willert was dispatched to a crash site on Highway 80 in Fillmore County. It was a one-vehicle rollover with a possible fatality. By the time he arrived on the scene medical and law enforcement personnel were already there. Trooper Willert observed it was a clear night with dry roads and he observed skid marks in the middle of the road that curved to the left. Both the driver and passenger had been ejected from the vehicle upon impact. The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene and the alleged driver, Charles Erickson, was taken by medical helicopter to St. Marys in Rochester. Later, when questioned, Mr. Erickson stated that he did not remember the accident and is not even sure he was the one driving. However, it has been determined that excessive speed (driving 69 mph in a 55 mph speed zone), bald tires, a blood alcohol level of .20 at 3:59 a.m., and not wearing seatbelts all contributed to the death of the other individual in the vehicle at the time of the accident. It was also noted that Mr. Erickson had a prior DUI conviction in 2007. Mr. Erickson was released on his own recognizance and Judge Benson set unconditional bail at $20,000. His next scheduled court appearance is set for August 9, 2010. Attorney Frederick S. Suhler is representing Mr. Erickson.

Eric Lee Walton, a 20-year old white male from Spring Valley, MN, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court on July 26, 2010, facing one count of violation of domestic abuse - no contact order. Maximum penalty is five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. On June 22, 2010, Mr. Walton was taken into custody by Fillmore County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Beck for violation of a current "no contact" order issued by the court. The mother of a 17-year old female called the authorities when she suspected he had contacted her daughter. The defendant has had three prior domestic violence-related offenses, all with the same protected person. Judge Benson set conditional bail at $2,000 and unconditional bail at $10,000. Mr. Walton's next scheduled court appearance is August 9, 2010.

Jennifer Ann Shurtz, a 28-year old white female from Chatfield, appeared before Judge Robert R. Benson in District Court on July 26, 2010, facing two counts of depriving another of custodial or parental rights. If convicted on both counts, the defendant could spend up to four years in prison, pay fines amounting to $8,000 or both. The defendant has been charged with denying custody of her four-year old son to his father from June 6 to July 1, 2010. The parents have joint legal and physical custody of the child, but the mother alleges her son had been abused when with the father and for that reason will not allow him parenting time. However, the court ruled that she did not show proof of such alleged abuse and ordered her to grant the father parenting time. She was released on her own recognizance and Judge Benson set unconditional bail at $5,000. Ms. Shurtz's next scheduled court appearance is set for August 30, 2010.

Also appearing before Judge Benson in District Court on July 26 for sentencing were the following individuals:

• Derek Leroy Thielen, Stewartville, pled guilty to count one receiving stolen property. The Court found the defendant guilty on count one and dismissed all remaining charges pursuant to plea negotiations between the parties. The Court ordered the defendant be committed to the Commissioner of Corrections for 21 months with two-thirds of that time to be served in prison and one-third on supervised release. The defendant was given credit for 270 days of local time served. The Court further ordered the defendant to pay restitution for stolen goods. Representing Mr. Thielen was his attorney, David R. Haugen, Rochester. Attorney Brett Corson represented the State of Minnesota.

• Linda Kay Roberts, Ottumwa, IA, along with her attorney, David R. Haugen, appeared for sentencing before Judge Benson, offering a plea of guilty to count two, burglary in the third degree - aid and abet. The Court found the defendant guilty as charged of count two and dismissed all remaining charges. The Court ordered Ms. Roberts to be committed to the Commissioner of Corrections for 15 months with two-thirds of that time served in prison and one-third on supervised release. Execution of commitment was stayed for five years and the defendant was placed on supervised probation. The Court further ordered the defendant to serve 61 days in the county jail and was given credit for the 61 days already served. She was also ordered to pay fines and fees amounting to $2,090 and restitution to Kwik Trip along with a letter of apology. Attorney Brett Corson represented the State of Minnesota in this case.

• Finally, Samuel Douglas Miland, Spring Valley, appeared before Judge Benson for sentencing on two separate complaints. Representing Mr. Miland on both complaints was attorney Zachary C. Bauer. Prosecuting attorney was Brett Corson. In the first complaint, the defendant pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine, count one. The Court made a judgment of guilty and dismissed all remaining charges in this complaint. Minnesota sentencing guidelines for a person with zero criminal history is a presumptive 12 months and one day commitment to the Commissioner of Corrections with a stayed disposition. The Court, therefore, ordered the imposition of sentence be stayed for five years and the defendant was placed on supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay fines and fees amounting to $1,090 and to serve 300 days in the Fillmore County Jail with credit for the 347 he has previously served.

• In his second complaint, Samuel Douglas Miland pled guilty to the charge of controlled substance in the third degree, count two. The Court found him guilty as charged and dismissed all remaining charges against the defendant in this complaint. The Court ordered Mr. Miland to be committed to the Commissioner of Corrections for a period of 21 months with two-thirds of that time spent in prison and one-third on supervised release. Execution of judgment was stayed for 20 years and the defendant was placed on supervised probation. The Court further ordered the defendant pay a $10,000 fine, along with other fees amounting to $90. Court services will set up a payment schedule for Mr. Miland. The defendant was given credit for the 347 days of local time previously served against the 21 month imposed sentence.

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