Court News: Woman sentenced after two high-speed chases
She backed up and cut through the line of cars, driving through the grass onto Highway 34. She sped off at speeds over 75 mph and ran multiple stop signs during the pursuit.
Kalysta Lee Ann Harrell, 21, of rural Nisswa has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor failure to provide insurance.
According to court records, on March 17, a Detroit Lakes police officer — who knew she was wanted on several felony warrants — saw Harrell driving on Highway 59.
Another officer saw her vehicle in line at the 4 Seasons Car Wash, but when he walked up to the driver’s side door, the vehicle started to back up. He opened the door and yelled at Harrell to stop, but she backed up and cut through the line of cars, driving through the grass onto Highway 34. She sped off at speeds over 75 mph and ran multiple stop signs during the pursuit.
Her vehicle was pushed into the ditch on Highland Drive after an officer did a Pursuit Intervention Technique. It appeared to be disabled, but when an officer got out of his vehicle and announced commands to the occupants of the vehicle, Harrell drove through the ditch and over a driveway approach fast enough to launch the vehicle into the air.
She then drove past a squad car, narrowly missing the officer, before continuing to flee on Highland Drive at speeds over 110 miles per hour. Eventually, her vehicle began emitting a lot of smoke and began to slow down. Officers were able to perform a slow speed P.I.T. maneuver on the vehicle and bring it to a stop.
On Oct. 22, District Judge Gretchen Thilmony sentenced her on the felony to a year and a day in prison at Shakopee, stayed three years. Harrell was ordered to serve 89 days in jail, with credit for 89 days served, and was fined $50 plus $200 in court fees and $4,418 in restitution. She was placed on supervised probation for three years.
On the misdemeanor insurance charge, she was ordered to pay a $200 fine and $350 in court fees.
A misdemeanor charge of allowing illegal operation was dropped in a plea agreement.
(The two misdemeanor charges stem from an April 11, 2020 incident in which she allowed a man to drive her Cadillac in Detroit Lakes without functioning taillights or insurance.)
Harrell was also sentenced for felony receiving stolen property for an Oct. 2, 2020 incident in which a Frazee police officer found her parked in a stolen 2000 Ford Focus. She sped off when he put his emergency lights on, driving through numerous stop signs without slowing down and, at times, driving in the oncoming lane of traffic.
During the chase, the Ford reached speeds of 60 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone in Frazee. Eventually, she followed Highway 87 out of Frazee, reaching speeds between 70 and 80 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone.
A Becker County officer put spike strips down on Highway 87 and the Ford hit them, flattening two tires. Officers then successfully performed a PIT maneuver, causing the vehicle to spin out and go backward into a ditch. Harrell jumped out and began running through the ditch. Numerous law enforcement members ran after her. She ran into a barbed wire fence before turning around and running toward officers.
On that charge, she was sentenced to a year and a day in prison at Shakopee, stayed three years. Harrell was ordered to serve 89 days in jail, with credit for 89 days served, and was fined $50 plus $200 in court fees and $3,870 in restitution.
She was ordered to get a chemical dependency evaluation and a complete diagnostic assessment, and follow the recommendations, including aftercare. She was placed on supervised probation for five years.
Charges of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and fleeing an officer on foot were dropped in a plea agreement.
Detroit Lakes man sentenced for domestic assault, ramming car
Todd Louis Nelson, 37, of Detroit Lakes has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for gross misdemeanor domestic assault.
A felony charge of threats of violence was dropped in a plea agreement.
According to court records, on May 31, Detroit Lakes Police officers were dispatched to an address on East Shore Drive on the report of a domestic disturbance.
Nelson had quickly driven his 2004 Ford Expedition over the curb and into the yard. He began swearing at a female relative, then grabbed her arm, twisting and manipulating it while continuing to yell at her. The woman’s husband came out of the residence and got Nelson to release her. As he was leaving, Nelson told the woman that he would return and burn the house down if she called the police.
On Oct. 22, District Judge Michael Fritz sentenced him on the gross misdemeanor charge to a year in jail, all but 10 days stayed two years, with credit for six days served. He was fined $500 plus $575 in court fees and ordered to get chemical dependency and mental health evaluations and follow the recommendations, including aftercare, with probation to monitor.
He was placed on supervised probation for two years.
Nelson was also sentenced on a felony charge of first-degree damage to property.
According to court records, on Nov. 24, 2020, he rammed another vehicle multiple times at the Albertson Mobile Home Park in Becker County, causing significant driver’s side damage. A witness saw Nelson in his white Expedition, hitting the vehicle.
On that charge, a stay of imposition was issued for five years and he was placed on supervised probation.
He was ordered to serve 30 days in jail, with credit for eight days served, and was fined $1,000 plus $1,150 in court fees. He must get chemical dependency and mental health evaluations and follow the recommendations, including aftercare, with probation to monitor. Restitution was reserved.
He was placed on supervised probation for five years.
- RELATED: See more Becker County District Court and Federal Court news
Detroit Lakes woman sentenced for check forgery
Melissa Jo Doppler, 47, of Detroit Lakes has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony check forgery and two counts of misdemeanor theft.
According to court records, on Aug. 17, 2019 a Detroit Lakes police officer spoke to Doppler by telephone, and she indicated she stole a neighbor’s driver’s license and later voluntarily returned it to her. Doppler admitted to filling out three checks belonging to the neighbor and forging the woman’s name on the checks, and further admitted she received or attempted to receive property or services in excess of $250 from the forged checks. She admitted to cashing the forged checks in Detroit Lakes, and said that gambling was the reason for the forgery.
On Oct. 27 District Judge Jay Carlson stayed imposition of sentence on the forgery charge and placed Doppler on supervised probation for five years. Credit was granted for two days served in jail, and she was fined $500 plus $650 in court fees and $600 restitution. She must serve 150 hours of community service work.
On two separate misdemeanor theft charges, she was fined $50 plus $125 in court fees for each of them, plus $45 restitution between the two cases. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit for 90 days served.
Rural Lake Park man sentenced for meth possession
Aaron Stewart Young, 37, of rural Lake Park has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime.
According to court records, on Feb. 20 a Becker County deputy observed a vehicle traveling on West Ida Lane with expired license plate tabs.
Young was the driver, and his license was revoked. The deputy saw a marijuana cigarette in the ashtray, and a search revealed a black film container that had six-tenths of a gram of methamphetamine inside.
On Oct. 22, District Judge Gretchen Thilmony stayed adjudication and continued the case. Young was ordered to serve 56 days in jail, with credit for 56 days served, and was fined $1,000 plus $1,075 in court fees.
He must get chemical dependency and mental health evaluations and follow the recommendations, including aftercare.
He was placed on supervised probation for five years.
A misdemeanor driving after revocation charge was dropped in a plea agreement.
Drug charge dismissed against Frazee woman
A felony charge of fifth-degree controlled substance crime was dismissed in Becker County District Court against Carrie Marie Butcher, 27, of Frazee.
According to court records, on Feb. 25, 2020, she was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over in Frazee because fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror were obstructing the driver’s view.
She was arrested on an active warrant out of Otter Tail County. There was a purse on the floor between the rear of the two front seats where Butcher would have been sitting. She denied having a black purse. There were two small baggies inside the purse that field-tested positive for 2.05 grams methamphetamine, with packaging.
There was also a wallet in the purse that had a credit card with Butcher’s name. The driver said the purse belonged to Butcher, but Butcher said her wallet was never in the purse.
Oct. 21, the charge was dismissed by the county attorney’s office because “the state is unable to sustain its burden of proof at trial, and in the interests of justice.”