Tom Olsen / Forum News Service
DULUTH — One defendant has admitted guilt while two others have been indicted on enhanced charges in the slaying of an Aurora man whose body was found along the Mesabi Trail in January. Anthony Emerson Howson, 20, pleaded guilty Friday, Feb. 22, to a felony count of aiding and abetting intentional second-degree murder in the shooting death of 33-year-old Joshua Robert Lavalley. Howson is expected to face a guideline sentence of 25 ½ years in prison for his role in the crime. His co-defendants, on the other hand, could remain imprisoned for life.
CARLTON, Minn. — A Minnesota Sex Offender Program client admitted this week to attempting to kill a staff member at a secure treatment facility in Moose Lake last month. George Mack Jr., 42, pleaded guilty to felony counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder and fourth-degree assault at a hearing Monday, Feb. 25, in State District Court in Carlton.
VIRGINIA, Minn. — Christina Marie Woods was a devoted mother of four kids ranging in age from 3 to 13, family members said. The 28-year-old Indiana woman loved bonding with her children over crafts and dancing. She could recite the lines and lyrics from all of their favorite Disney movies. When Woods met her end at the hands of an abusive boyfriend last summer near Cook, she and her kids were “cheated out of their future together,” said her mother, Mary Robinson.
DULUTH - A judge has increased the damages to be received by former University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach Shannon Miller in her discrimination suit against the school. U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz on Wednesday, Feb. 13, awarded Miller $461,278 in front pay and future benefits, while denying her motion to be reinstated to her former position. A federal jury last spring awarded Miller $3.74 million in past lost wages and benefits and past emotional distress, but the remaining damages could only be determined by the judge.
HILL CITY, Minn. - One man was injured when he was shot by Itasca County sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic assault call Sunday, authorities said. The incident was reported at 5:26 p.m. at a residence on Walker Road, near Hill City, the Itasca County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. "Deputies attempted to make contact," a news release stated. "At one point the subject fired his weapon. Deputies also fired their weapons." The man, whose identity has yet to be released, is continuing to receive treatment at Essentia Health-St.
DULUTH — The Diocese of Duluth entered into an agreement this week that would end years of litigation over insurance coverage and provide more than $30 million to victims of child sexual abuse. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company agreed to pay $6.5 million under a settlement agreement filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It is the fifth and final insurer to settle with the diocese, which filed suit in 2016 to force coverage of claims in its ongoing bankruptcy.
BARRON, Wis. — The Douglas County man accused of killing a Barron couple and abducting their 13-year-old daughter for nearly three months waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning. Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon, appeared briefly Feb. 6 in Barron County Circuit Court. He is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary.
BARRON, Wis. — The northwest Wisconsin man accused of abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents is set to appear in court Wednesday, Feb. 6. The preliminary hearing for 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, of Gordon, is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Barron County Circuit Court. Patterson is accused of fatally shooting 56-year-old James Closs and 46-year-old Denise Closs inside their Barron home on Oct. 15. He allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs and held her captive inside his residence for 88 days before she managed to escape on Jan. 10.
BARRON, Wis. - A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who had been missing since October has been found alive in rural Douglas County on Thursday, authorities said. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Jayme Closs was found in the town of Gordon at 4:43 p.m. and a suspect was taken into custody there just minutes later, at 4:54.