A woman who worked as an investigator for the St. Louis County Medical Examiner pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing methamphetamine.
Danielle Jean Charon, 34, of Hibbing, was arrested in early February after officers with the Boundary Waters Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at her house. She was then charged with possessing meth and morphine and storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of her children.
She pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing meth in the 5th degree and the other charges were dismissed, according to her attorney Jim Perunovich.
Perunovich said he expects that when Charon is sentenced in April, her case will be stayed for a three-year probation and attendance in drug court.
“She’s done something and she admitted that it was a mistake and she’s going to clean it all up and move on,” Perunovich said. “I think she’s sincere.”
Charon was a part-time contract employee who investigated deaths in St. Louis County, according to Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Tom Uncini. Her work included going to scenes, looking at the deceased and helping to determine whether the office should perform an autopsy.
Uncini said Charon had told him that she had completed nursing training.
She no longer works as an investigator, he said.
Five people were injured in Owatonna late Wednesday their car went through flashing lights at a railroad crossing and was hit by a train.
Owatonna police said a 2007 Chevrolet Impala was heading south on State Ave. NW when it collided with a westbound Canadian Pacific train just before 11 p.m. The driver, a 30-year-old Faribault man, was carrying four passengers ages 20-24. One passenger sustained a head injury and was listed in serious condition Thursday morning. Three passengers were transported to hospitals by air ambulance.
There are no crossing arms at the intersection, according to Owatonna police. Two train crew members on board were not injured.
Police aren’t releasing the names of those involved pending notification of family members.
A Red Lake Tribal Council member was found dead with a gunshot wound on Saturday evening and a woman at the residence where he was found was taken into custody, according to Red Lake police.
The body of Donald J. "Dudie" May, 58, was discovered after tribal police responded to a 911 call at about 7:42 p.m. at a rural Red Lake residence. A 47-year-old woman who was at the residence is facing charges of domestic violence, third degree assault and disorderly conduct in tribal court, according to a news release from William Brunelle, director of the Red Lake Department of Public Safety. The shooting remains under investigation.
The FBI is also investigating. Minneaoplis chief division counsel Kyle Loven declined to release any further information citing an “active investigation.”
An obituary on the Cease Family Funeral Homes website says May was elected to the tribal council in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and had a passion for treaty rights and reclaiming former Red Lake tribal lands. He was scheduled to make a presentation this week on reclaiming Upper Red Lake.
Tribal chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain Jr., said May was a brilliant man and someone he could rely on to represent the tribe in Washington D.C. and St. Paul. Jourdain said he and May got into tribal government the same year and were determined to help turn the reservation around to grow industry and infrastructure and programs. Many of the improvements made in the past 10 years are "a large part attributed to Don's efforts," Jourdain said.
"It's a huge, huge loss for our community," added Jourdain, who will serve as an honorary casket bearer at May's funeral on Friday. "We just have a pit in our stomach and a hole in our hearts."
May grew up in Red Lake and attended school in Utah and St. John's Prep in St. Cloud, according to the obituary.
He is listed as one of eight district representatives on the tribe’s website. The tribe’s enrollment is listed at 11,422.
Cold Spring still doesn’t have a police chief after the city council held a contentious meeting Monday night to review their hiring process.
Eric Johnson, the former top cop in Minneota, Minn., appeared to have the job leading the Cold Spring-Richmond Police Department early this year. But Johnson still hasn’t taken the helm.
The St. Cloud Times reports that the city received information that led to a city investigation and nine-page report, and that the city attorney and at least one council member maintained that the city would be open to a lawsuit if they revealed the reasons Johnson isn’t chief.
Monday night’s meeting drew crowds and accusations that the council was on a “witch hunt,” the newspaper reported. It resulted in no answers on what will happen next.