Weather Forecast


Adams assault trial starts March 5

Detroit Lakes Superintendent Mark Adams will go on trial on felony first- and third-degree assault charges at 9 a.m. Monday, March 5.

Adams, 43, of 14140 East Fox Lake Road, appeared at a pretrial hearing Monday morning in Becker County District Court before Judge Mark Hansen.

The jury trial is expected to last no more than a week, with the first day or two given over to selecting a jury from a pool of 75 potential jurors.

The next two days will be used by the prosecution to present its case; Becker County Attorney Joe Evans said he expects to call 10-12 witnesses.

Defense attorney Peter B. Wold of Minneapolis said he expects to call four or five witnesses -- perhaps more, if the prosecution fails to call some on its list -- including a character witness and several "fact" witnesses who will also serve as character witnesses.

Adams was indicted by a Becker County grand jury Nov. 1 for allegedly assaulting Mark Rothschadl.

The incident occurred Sept. 9 on Rothschadl's farm in rural Ogema. Rothschadl was not indicted by the grand jury.

Wold earlier filed a motion to dismiss the charges, and he spoke to that motion Monday at the request of Judge Hansen.

Wold said an investigation by the defense team turned up timeline inaccuracies in grand jury testimony by Matthew Lanoue and Chris Brunner.

Adams had stopped for partial directions at Lanoue's residence near Ogema.

Lanoue had gone to Fergus Falls to pick up an ATV that day, and told the grand jury he got home about 5 p.m.

He may have actually got home an hour earlier, based on a Detroit Lakes Kmart receipt printed at 3:31 p.m.

The assault incident occurred about 4:45 p.m., and Wold insinuated the timeline had been intentionally misstated because Lanoue and Brunner are friendly towards Rothschadl and wanted to hurt Adams' credibility with the grand jury.

"It's clear that a major portion of evidence presented before the grand jury last October left out some very important exculpatory evidence," Wold told the judge.

Evans said it was actually a matter of witnesses trying to reconstruct a timeline from memory, and he filed legal documents opposing the motion to dismiss.

Judge Hansen said he will take the motion under advisement.

Adams is on paid administrative leave from his superintendent's job pending the outcome of the trial.