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Man gets probation on resisting charge

Jonathan Schweiger Wiederkehr, 51, New Brighton, Minn., pled guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court Wednesday to one count of resisting an officer stemming from an incident on July 4. Wiederkehr was placed on probation for a year.

How he committed the Class A misdemeanor was unique and probably won't happen again.

According to the criminal complaint, Pierce County Sheriff's dispatch was advised of a one-vehicle rollover July 4. The driver, later identified as Judith Talbott, 60, was unable to tell exactly where she and a male passenger was, only saying they were on a gravel road near Ellsworth. She stayed on the line and was able to provide details about their surroundings until sheriff's officers found them on 730th Street.

When fire and ambulance crews arrived to extract Talbott and her passenger, both were put into separate vehicles. The passenger identified himself as Wiederkehr, but when asked for proof of identification, he had none. He did say he had his cousin's wallet with him, which showed identification as Jake Stone. Talbott didn't have proof of identification of Wiederkehr with her, so a sheriff's officer contacted dispatch. A dispatcher learned the owner of the vehicle, a Saab convertible, was Jake Reeve Stone.

During that time, emergency personnel gave officers a New York City Police Deputy Inspector Badge, and a wallet containing two Minnesota identification cards and a New York State driver's license. One of the Minnesota ID cards was for Jonathan Schweiger Wiederkehr, with an 11/12/1955 birth date. The second Minnesota card had Wiederkehr's name along with the same birth date, but a different address. The New York license had the name of Jonathan R. Schweiger.

Sheriff's officers also found in the wallet Medica, Mastercard and Visa cards with three different names on them. A travel permit issued by the Department of Corrections was found as well, out of Ramsey County in the Twin Cities, stating "procure controlled substance by fraud."

That's only the beginning.

When Wiederkehr was asked why he had someone else's drivers license on him, he said he was a reporter and there were different IDs because "whacked" people come after reporters and threaten their lives. When asked a second time, he said the license belonged to his relative and he has sent his ID to him because he was going to be coming to Minnesota with his 90-year-old mother. When asked about the NYPD badge, Wiederkehr replied it was given to him by a relative; when pressed on who the relative was, he was unable to provide an identity.

Officers' next question was about the vehicle. Wiederkehr responded Stone was the owner and showed them the Wisconsin driver's license naming Jake Reeve Ryan Stone, with a date of birth, 11/12/1965. It also had a picture very similar to the picture on the Minnesota ID cards.

Meantime, dispatch alerted officers on-site that Wiederkehr's criminal history was extremely long and he had numerous aliases, dates of birth and social security numbers. The registered owner, Stone, was one of those aliases.

As Wiederkehr was being transported to River Falls Area Hospital, officers talked to Talbott, who confirmed the owner of the vehicle was Stone, the passenger was Wiederkehr and they're the same person. Furthermore, Wiederkehr admitted he was Stone because he was in the Protection Agency and was advised by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent to change his name due to death threats. They then asked him why he had Minnesota and Wisconsin driver's licenses with two different names, but the same picture. His response was he had a psychopath ex-girlfriend who was trying to kill him and he had gotten advice from the FBI.

Officers looked through some of Wiederkehr's personal belongings and found two Cable News Network (CNN) press media cards with the names of J. Ryan Stone and Jaryd Madison, with both IDs having Wiederkehr's picture on them. Furthermore, a Platinum Mastercard, an American Express card, Bank of America card, Sam's Club card, an American Express Platinum and Optium Card, a Triple AAA and a Geico card showed Wiederkehr used four aliases between the eight of them.

Officers contacted the New York Police Department about the badge and a detective there said it was an honorary badge given to Wiederkehr by someone who is a deputy inspector. However, because Wiederkehr was unable to provide the name of the person who gave him the badge, it was seized.

When pressed more about the CNN media cards, he said he uses those to get into places. When asked why he had two, he said he's in the Federal Witness Protection program and he has an FBI agent who gave him the identities because of past problems. He refused to name his CNN contact out of his fear of getting his ex-wife involved. A call was placed to CNN corporate headquarters in Atlanta about the passes and officials there couldn't verify they had CNN credentials for either one of those names nor recognize the numbers on the IDs.

Wiederkehr told officers the Social Security Administration had given him multiple numbers and he could change his name at any time because of being in witness protection. He refused to identify who told him that. He also claimed to be in the military, but when asked what his service number (a social security number) was, he became apprehensive and changed the subject repeatedly.

Officers asked when was the last time he filed federal income taxes. He said he doesn't work and doesn't file income taxes. They said they were surprised he had done work for CNN, including being on-air and being in the military and not having to file income taxes.

Shortly thereafter, he was arrested for resisting and obstructing. He also indicated he had been beaten up in Georgia by a police officer, but nothing ever came out of it because the Ku Klux Klan was involved and the police could do no wrong. He concluded he believed people were treating him unjustly and his criminal history made him look like he was Al Capone.

Two charges of battery to law officers/fire fighters against him were deferred from prosecution for a year. As terms of his probation, he must continue all mental health counseling he is currently participating in or as directed by his probation agent. In addition, he must provide monthly written verification of compliance with the previous counseling to the Pierce County District's Attorney office. If he violates his probation, he'll immediately be found guilty of the two battery charges and proceed to sentencing. He can be allowed back in Minnesota to complete his probation.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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