Court news: Ponsford man gets prison time for threats with knife

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Ira James Anderson, 38, of rural Ponsford, was sentenced Feb. 7 to 26 months in prison for felony threats of violence.

According to court records, at 3:44 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2019, a deputy was dispatched to the 10000 block of Boot Lake Drive on the report of an assault with a knife. A man said Anderson had “put a knife to him,” holding the blade to his chest, and making a throat-slashing motion with one hand, while standing between the victim and the car door. He told the victim to be quiet and to walk with him. The knife was a buck knife with a black handle and silver blade.

Anderson was found in the woods with a black-handled knife in a sheath on his waist and a backpack on the ground next to him, according to court records. Anderson refused to show his hands and a deputy deployed a K-9 dog on him in an attempt to get control over him. Anderson kept reaching for the knife on his belt and resisting efforts to handcuff him.

After he was arrested, a meth pipe was found in his pocket and the backpack was found to contain a baggie that field-tested for 1.74 grams of meth, with packaging.

He was previously convicted of third-degree assault with a weapon other than a firearm in 2012, and four drug possession charges from 2002 to 2018, according to court records.


Anderson appeared Feb. 7 before Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony, who sentenced him to 26 months in prison at St. Cloud, and ordered him to pay a $50 fine and $215 in court fees.

A felony charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony fifth-degree drug charge, and a gross misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process were all dropped in a plea agreement.

Rochert man 's sentence is adjusted due to medical issues

Shawn William Halverson, 39, of rural Rochert, had his sentence adjusted in Becker County District Court on a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal vehicular operation.

Halvorson appeared Feb. 5 before Becker County District Judge Jay Carlson, who ordered him released from jail and allowed him to serve some jail time on electronic home monitoring in order to deal with health issues.

He was originally sentenced to a year in jail, with 275 days stayed six years. He was ordered to serve 45 days in jail, but was released at the state’s request on Feb. 5 because of medical issues related to diabetes and medication, and will serve an extra 15 days (for a total of 60 days) on electronic home monitoring at his own expense. Work release privileges were granted.

He was fined $1,000 plus $1,120 in court fees. He was ordered to get a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations, including aftercare, and was placed on supervised probation for six years.

According to court records, at 2:49 a.m. Nov. 12, 2018, a Becker County deputy responded t o the scene of a one-vehicle crash with injuries at the intersection of Becker County roads 38 and 39 between Wolf Lake and Toad Lake.

As the deputy arrived, he recognized Halverson walking out of the ditch. There were skid marks across the T-intersection, and the back end of a pickup truck was visible 150 to 200 feet into the woods on the west side of the intersection. The truck had run into a large tree and sustained severe impact damage.


A male passenger on the scene was dazed and confused, with facial lacerations and blood on his face and shirt. The truck smelled of alcohol, and several unopened beer cans had been ejected in the crash. Halverson’s blood alcohol content tested at .17% at Essentia St. Mary’s hospital, more than twice the legal limit.

The passenger needed stitches on his chin and neck totaling 3.5 inches. He also had throat and chest pain and was knocked unconscious in the crash. Halverson said he didn’t see the intersection and drove through it. A felony charge of criminal vehicular operation and a gross misdemeanor charge of second-degree DWI were dismissed in a plea agreement.

Man ordered to complete DWI Court

Randall Lorne Basswood, 50, of Ponsford, was sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony DWI. A second felony DWI charge was dropped in a plea agreement.

According to court records, on Nov. 22 he was arrested by a tribal police officer in an Osage-area parking lot after a report of a disturbance in a motor vehicle.

He failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a preliminary breath test on the scene. A breath test at the jail showed a blood alcohol concentration of .11 percent, more than two hours after the initial contact.

A woman in the car told the officer that Basswood had “snaked out on her,” accusing her of cheating on him, grabbing her by the hair, slapping her and put her into a headlock at one point. He said she was the aggressor and had punched him about 10 times, including in the face. The officer only observed a bruise on his chest. His license was canceled as inimical to public safety.

Basswood appeared Feb. 7 before Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony, who sentenced him to 72 months in prison at St. Cloud, stayed 14 years.

He was ordered to serve 96 days in jail, with credit for 96 days served, and was fined $1,000, with $500 of that stayed one year. He must also pay $1,665 in court fees and complete the Becker County-White Earth DWI Court program, and follow all recommendations of a recent chemical dependency evaluation, including aftercare.


He was placed on supervised probation for 14 years, and must serve 30 days on electronic home monitoring for each year on probation.

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