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Joseph D. Kadlec

Isanti County Sheriff’s Office,

Year in jail, no prison for road-rage driver who shot man in face in Isanti

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • June 25, 2014 - 9:39 PM

A 73-year-old man was given one year in jail along with 20 years’ probation and a stayed 8½-year prison sentence Wednesday for a road-rage confrontation that left a motorcyclist shot in the chin outside the Isanti, Minn., Police Department.

In March, a jury convicted Joseph D. Kadlec of Cambridge, Minn., of first- and second-degree assault and reckless use of a firearm during a clash that started on Hwy. 65 on a Saturday afternoon in October 2012.

Under the sentence handed down by Isanti County District Judge James Dehn, Kadlec cannot use, possess or own firearms, drive a motor vehicle and use or possess alcohol or non-prescribed mood-altering substances.

Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad said he and his staff are considering appealing the sentence, pointing out that state sentencing guidelines call for a presumptive 86-month prison sentence for first-degree assault and a minimum 36-month prison term for second-degree assault with a firearm.

“As chair of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, I can tell you that our statistics from 2003-2012 indicate that there were 109 defendants sentenced in the state of Minnesota for first-degree assault with a firearm and 106 of those defendants were sent to prison,” Edblad said.

Kadlec, who had a permit to carry a gun at the time of the shooting, has been involved in five other road-rage incidents in the past six years, according to documents filed in this case.

The motorcyclist, Kyle W. Ronning, 30, of Columbia Heights, was treated at Hennepin County Medical Center after the bullet entered his chin, broke several teeth and ended up protruding from the lower portion of his right ear.

In the earlier incidents, Kadlec was never charged or ticketed but was “certainly party to all five cases,” Edblad said at the time of the charges in the 2012 shooting.

According to the charges:

Witnesses driving on Hwy. 65 said they saw Kadlec’s car, his wife with him, and Ronning and fellow motorcyclist Matthew D. Larowe, 30, speed past. The car swerved toward Ronning and Larowe, prompting the two men to speed up to Kadlec, and one of the motorcyclists then kicked Kadlec’s car.

The motorcyclists tried to pass the car “again and again.” In response, Kadlec “jerked his car at the motorcycles.”

At one point, one of the motorcyclists “gave [Kadlec] the finger,” prompting Kadlec to swerve toward his rivals again.

From there, the motorcyclists ended up in the Police Department parking lot. Two officers leaving the headquarters heard a gunshot. One of them led the wounded man away from the car scene while the other dealt with Kadlec.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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