MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Wolf suspected in attack not rabid, tests show
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A 75-pound gray wolf that wildlife experts suspect bit a 16-year-old boy Saturday at a northern Minnesota campground has tested negative for rabies, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Thursday.
The wolf was trapped and killed Monday at the site of the attack, the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish between Bemidji and Grand Rapids.
The DNR said it is not 100 percent sure, and may never be, that the wolf killed Monday is the wolf that attacked Noah Graham of Solway. Graham was bitten early Saturday morning and suffered a large gash to the head. Graham was treated at a Bemidji hospital and discharged.
Graham's shirt, a potential source of wolf saliva, has been sent to the University of California-Davis for DNA testing, which is expected to take several weeks.
A necropsy report on the wolf is being conducted at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and those results also are expected to be released in several weeks.
A federal magistrate is recommending that a judge allow statements made by a western Minnesota man be entered into evidence at his weapons trial. Buford "Bucky" Rogers' lawyers had asked that Rogers' statements and evidence gathered in a raid on the family mobile home outside Montevideo be suppressed. Rogers was arrested May 3 in what the FBI called "a terror plot," and while a federal grand jury did not indict him on terrorism charges, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possessing "unregistered destructive devices." The magistrate ruled the statements and evidence admissible because Rogers voluntarily waived his Miranda rights when an FBI agent interviewed him. Rogers' trial is scheduled for October 2.
So far police are calling it a suspicious death; a man was found dead lying near a building in Shoreview yesterday (Thu) morning. Ramsey County Sheriff's officials say the man apparently died under "suspicious circumstances." The victim is black, and in his late 20s to late 30s,and didn't have any identification documents. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting the Sheriff's Office with the investigation.
A Coon Rapids man has admitted to driving his truck into his pregnant girlfriend. 25-year-old Jordan Knoff pled guilty to second-degree assault; prosecutors had planned to file attempted murder charges if the case went to trial. Investigators say Knoff and the woman were arguing inside his truck in a Mounds View parking lot in May, and when she got out Knoff chased her down with the vehicle and hit her. The 18-year-old suffered a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain, and lost her sense of smell. The baby was recently born and appears to be healthy. Knoff will be sentenced in October and could draw up to 10 years in prison as well as an additional 14 months in prison for aggravating factors -- including the fact that the unborn child was a second victim, the woman? pregnancy made her especially vulnerable and because Knoff didn? stop to help her.
A man accused of killing his mother and then setting their St. Paul home on fire has been ruled fit to stand trial. Investigators say 21-year-old Michael Caldwell's mother picked him up from a Missouri mental hospital last September, against medical advice, and early the following morning 49-year-old Lorine Johnson's body was found severely burned in her home. The medical examiner ruled that she had been strangled, and police say Caldwell admitted to killing his mother and then dousing her with lighter fluid and striking the match. In October a judge ruled Caldwell was too mentally ill to participate in his defense and he was sent to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter and put on medication. A Ramsey County judge will now rule in mid-September on whether Caldwell committed the crime, and whether or not he was too mentally ill at the time to be held criminally responsible.
Austin police are investigating whether a 13-year-old boy might be responsible for recent pellet gun shootings after the teen was seen with a gun near a local elementary school and a police search located a pellet gun tucked into his pants. Officers say there was no evidence that shots were fired near the school yesterday (Thu), but a detective is investigating whether the boy was responsible for shooting at passing cars several blocks from that same school earlier this month. Nobody was hurt.