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Minn. roundup: Heroin dealer found guilty in first of 4 deaths; Crystal police say they shot armed man on disc golf course

MINNEAPOLIS—A Maplewood woman has been found guilty of third-degree murder in the overdose death of a man who received the fatal dose from her.

Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin filed his guilty verdict Tuesday, in the bench trial of Beverly Nicole Burrell, 30, following the death of Lucas Ronnei of Chanhassen in January 2016.

The judge heard testimony on another third-degree murder case against Burrell at the same time but will not rule on that case until after closing written arguments July 3, according to a statement Wednesday from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Burrell's defense argued it was possible Ronnei, 20, got the fatal dose of heroin from someone else. But the judge believed that the time between when Ronnei received the drug and when he died made it "highly unlikely Ronnei obtained any other heroin," Scoggin said in his verdict memorandum.

Burrell is also charged in the deaths of Maxwell Tillitt, 21, of Columbia Heights, in September 2015; Nick Petrick, 29, of Eden Prairie, in April 2016; and an unidentified Columbia Heights man in a sober-living home in April 2016.


Charges: Worker secretly recorded women in bathroom of Moorhead restaurant

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A former employee of a Moorhead restaurant is accused of secretly filming women and at least one girl in the Moorhead restaurant's bathroom.

Sam Thomas Hagen, 18, of Moorhead made his first appearance in Clay County District Court on Wednesday, May 24. He faces a felony charge of interfering with the privacy of a minor, as well as four misdemeanor counts of interfering with privacy.

On May 5, Moorhead police were sent to Pancheros Mexican Grill after three girls told the restaurant manager that a cellphone was recording people in the women's bathroom, according to a criminal complaint.

One of the girls, who's 12 or 13, told a police officer she found the phone, which was taped to the underside of a sink and was aimed toward the toilets. The manager told police that when the phone was discovered, Hagen, who was working at the time, left the restaurant, the complaint said.

Police found Hagen at home, and he acknowledged taping the phone to the sink, the complaint said. He told police he "records videos in the bathrooms for his sexual pleasure," the complaint stated.

Hagen told police he did this before at a prior workplace and had been caught. He was fired in that case, but no police report was filed, according to the complaint, which did not name his previous employer.

Hagen was fired right after the phone was found.


Sheriff: Girl, 12, who drowned in Alexandria entered lake on her own

ALEXANDRIA , Minn.—A 12-year-old girl who drowned in Alexandria on April 28 entered the water on her own before getting swept up in the current and going under water, according to a media release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The release also states that JaLysa Anne Cook of Alexandria died as a result of freshwater drowning, based on the findings of Midwest Medical Examiner's Office.

On Friday, April 28, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and its Water Rescue and Recovery Team were called to the area next to the Central Lakes Trail between lakes Cowdry and Darling on the west side of Alexandria.

Law enforcement officials found the girl in 3 feet of water about 6:10 p.m. The girl was taken by ambulance to Douglas County Hospital, but life-saving efforts were unsuccessful.

Cook had been longboarding with another girl on the trail when the incident occurred. The other girl notified Cook's parents, who then called 911.

Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen said there was probably a 30-35 minute delay from when the incident happened to when 911 was called, which is not abnormal in instances such as this.

According to Wolbersen, the case is officially closed.


St. Croix River running high, so boaters face speed limit

STILLWATER, Minn.—Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials said Wednesday that recent rains have caused the St. Croix River to rise to the level where a speed limit must be imposed.

A "slow, no-wake" zone is in force between Taylors Falls and Prescott, Wis., to minimize shoreline erosion.

The restriction, authorized by state rules in Minnesota and Wisconsin, is triggered when the St. Croix reaches 83 feet at Stillwater. That happened Tuesday night; the river was at 83.2 feet at noon Wednesday.

Signs about the speed limit will be posted at all public accesses to the river.

The rule will remain in effect until the water level drops below 83 feet; it's expected to crest at 83.3 feet at Stillwater at 7 a.m. Friday.

Boaters should check the National Weather Service website for updates on current and projected water levels:


Crystal police say they shot armed man on disc golf course

CRYSTAL, Minn. - Authorities in Crystal in the western part of the Twin Citeis are investigating an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday morning.

According to Crystal police:

Officers were called to Bassett Creek Park shortly before 9 a.m. on a report of an armed man on the park's disc golf course.

A resident of an adjacent apartment building called 911 to report the gunman.

Officers repeatedly ordered the man to drop his gun.

"Our officers, believing they were in imminent danger, discharged their firearms toward the suspect and immediately provided the first aid," according to a police statement.

The man was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated but his condition wasn't immediately known later Wednesday. A handgun was recovered from the scene, police said.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on standard paid administrative leave, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was summoned to begin an investigation.