Man gets stayed jail sentence, fine in Willmar-area fox urine case
WILLMAR -- Thomas Albert Wagar, 25, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail, which was stayed, a $500 fine plus $90 in court fees and probation for at least 45 days or until the fine is paid and the night vision goggles he was convicted of possessing are returned to the military and verified as undamaged.
The sentence was handed down by Judge David L. Mennis in Kandiyohi County District Court. Wagar was convicted in December of a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property, which was reduced from a felony level charge. The goggles were used by his father during a Sept. 16, 2008, homecoming incident that included spraying teens with a squirt gun filled with water and fox urine.
Mennis said the case would be reopened and Wagar ordered to pay for repairs to the goggles if they were found to be damaged. He ordered the court administrator to release them to the county attorney's office for shipment back to the Department of Defense.
During the sentencing, Mennis chided Wagar for depriving his fellow soldiers of the safety and well-being that could have been provided by the goggles, which he took home from Iraq in 2006 after serving there with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Mennis called Wagar's claim of attempting to return the goggles "disingenuous at best," and said, "for all intents and purposes, you did nothing" to properly return the goggles for use by other soldiers in the war effort.
Wagar made no statement during the hearing.
He was originally charged with a felony. However, the jury placed a value of less than $500 on the goggles, in effect reducing the verdict to a misdemeanor.
Wagar and his father, Scott Edward Wagar, 51, of Willmar, were both charged in January with felony counts for possessing the goggles. All of the charges connected to the homecoming inci-dent -- including misdemeanors for fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct and theft -- against Scott Wagar were dismissed in March.