Minnesota News Roundup: Redwood Falls teen charged in toddler son's deathMinnesota News
-- A teenage mom from Redwood Falls is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of her 22-month-old son.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. - A teenage mom from Redwood Falls is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of her 22-month-old son.
Bail for 18-year-old Sandra Highbear was set at two-million dollars Thursday, and funeral services for Conroy Highbear were postponed. Officers responded to a report of a child not breathing last Saturday, but attempts to revive Conroy were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the boy died of blunt force injury to the abdomen. He also had traumatic head injuries, hemorrhages and contusions to his body. Following her arrest, Highbear admitted to police that she had hit Conroy every other day and to striking him on the head on occasion.
Prosecutors are considering criminal sexual conduct charges for a Minneapolis police officer accused of having sex with teenage girls. Thirty-two-year-old Bradley Schnickel of Andover was arrested Wednesday as part of an investigation by the Anoka County Sheriff's Office and Brooklyn Center police. Investigators say Officer Schnickel was using social media to send juvenile females inappropriate messages and the allegations also include sexual contact. The Minneapolis Police Department placed Schnickel on administrative leave. He has been separated from other prisoners in the Anoka County jail.
A father whose eight-month-old daughter died after being trapped in a submerged car in Lake Minnetonka last month has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and has a court appearance this afternoon 41-year-old Jonathan Markle of Minnetrista had a blood alcohol level of point-one-three the day of the accident. According to the complaint, Markle told police he had two beers at a restaurant before driving out on the ice. The SUV broke through with Markle's daughter Tabitha strapped in the backseat. Markle's wife was able to escape the sinking car with their 2-year-old daughter, but neither parent could get to the infant. Authorities say Tabitha was likely trapped underwater for 15 minutes before rescue crews cut the straps of the car seat to free her. She later died at the hospital.
Stay off the ice -- that’s the word from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department after yet another car broke through the ice Wednesday. This time it happened on Madison Lake, and luckily no one was injured when the front end of the car broke through. Just a week ago, Mankato resident Bobby Drengler had a terrifying experience when his car broke through the ice on Washington Lake. Drengler was able to open his window and climb onto the roof of his car until rescuers came, but says he got some frostbite because his legs froze to the top of the car.
Former GOP Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb was over the legal limit to drive when he crashed his car last month in Mendota Heights. According to the State Patrol, a urine test showed Brodkorb had a blood alcohol level of point-one the night of the crash. The accident report shows Brodkorb's vehicle ran off Interstate 35-E, hit a cement wall and then traveled into the oncoming lanes and struck the median. The case has been submitted to the Lilydale city attorney for review and possible charges. Brodkorb is suing the state Senate over his firing in a sex scandal that resulted in the ouster of former majority leader Amy Koch.
U.S. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis) is co-sponsoring a new five-year farm bill similar to the bipartisan measure passed in 2012. Franken says he was disheartened when the old farm bill was extended nine months during the fiscal cliff negotiations, and says he'll continue fighting until there's a Farm Bill that works for Minnesota. Franken says he's trying to secure funding for rural energy, conservation, and young farmers and ranchers programs. He's holding farm bill meetings in Saint Charles and Albert Lea this weekend to gather input from Minnesota producers.