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Stillwater man sentenced in knife-wielding bar incident

Trevor Bjorkman

A Minnesota man accused of leading officers on a subzero manhunt after tearing off his shirt and brandishing knives at a New Richmond bar pleaded guilty last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Stillwater resident Trevor P. Bjorkman pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping during a Thursday, April 6, hearing.

St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman sentenced Bjorkman to 120 days in jail on the convictions, which stemmed from three incidents between Nov. 9, 2016, and Jan. 30, 2017.

Bjorkman apologized to his family, the judge and the community, telling Waterman that his life hit a rough patch after a relationship led to too much drinking.

"We just partied everyday," he said. "I just want to pay my debt to society and move on."

Waterman told Bjorkman he presented himself as a "smart, articulate" man in court, leaving him wondering how the same person could run into so much trouble. The judge supported Bjorkman's intent to seek treatment. "I think you will find there are better things in life than partying and brawling and carrying around weapons," Waterman said.

Numerous other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Bjorkman was charged with multiple crimes after a Dec. 18, 2016, incident at the Boardman Bypass bar in New Richmond, where witnesses said he told them that as a Vikings fan in a Packers bar, he would need to defend himself. Bjorkman later produced two knives after ripping off his shirt, according to a criminal complaint.

Officers spent two hours tracking him in below-zero temperatures before finding him at a 95th Street home, where he was arrested.

Bjorkman was also accused in an incident from two days earlier, where he allegedly punched a man at a Somerset bar and was later charged with felony battery and three misdemeanors.

That case remains open and is set for a May 2 jury trial. A pretrial hearing in the open case will be held April 21.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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