Ex-police officer pleads guilty to slashing

A former St. Paul police officer accused of slashing an acquaintance who he believed had stolen thousands of dollars of marijuana from him pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree assault. Norman W. Berry, 52, originally had been charged with second-degree assault and fifth-degree drug possession. He will be sentenced May 29 by Ramsey County District Judge Michael Fetsch.

Berry, who fled St. Paul after the December incident, was arrested Feb. 27 in Stockton, Calif. According to the charges, Berry was running a marijuana-growing operation in the basement of his home in the Summit-University neighborhood. He was robbed of about $3,200 worth of marijuana on Nov. 28 and went looking for the victim, Courtney Bivens, then 26, the next day, the complaint said. He caught up with Bivens on Dec. 3; Bivens was injured as they fought outside Berry's vehicle, the complaint said. Berry resigned from the St. Paul Police Department in 1993 after six years on the job.


Burglar of archbishop's home pleads guilty

A 27-year-old man accused of burglarizing the St. Paul home of Archbishop John Nienstedt last June pleaded guilty Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

Kelvin B. Smalls, also known as Akime Small, will be sentenced May 19 by District Judge John B. Van de North.

Smalls was identified through DNA testing of blood found in the archbishop's residence on Summit Avenue. A safe weighing at least 50 pounds was taken. It contained seven crosses, three rings, ceremonial pins and a chain. Initially the archdiocese staff members believed that as many as six bejeweled crosses and several rings also had been stolen, but those items turned up in a later search of the archbishop's bedroom.