Justin Wayne Richey, 45, of rural Waubun, has been charged in Becker County District Court with two counts of felony criminal vehicular operation and one gross misdemeanor count of driving after his driver’s license was canceled.
According to court records, about 6:20 p.m. on Aug. 12, a White Earth tribal police officer responded to a report of two men injured by a hit-and-run driver and lying on County Road 34 in Becker County.
One of the victims, identified by the Becker County Sheriff's Office as Duane Warren, 56, of White Earth, said he and the other man, Clifford Warren, 31, of Ogema, were working on a vehicle on the side of the road when they were struck. Duane Warren said the truck hit him and then ran over Clifford Warren's legs. Duane Warren said the driver was going about 7O mph and talking on a cellphone.
A law enforcement officer located a vehicle in White Earth that matched the description of the suspect vehicle and obtained video surveillance that showed the suspect vehicle pulling into and behind a residence at 6:23 p.m., minutes after the two men were hit.
The officer recognized the driver as Richey, and noticed the vehicle’s passenger mirror was bent back and there was damage to the body. A woman at the residence where Rickey dropped off the vehicle said he mentioned “something about an accident” and “had to get out of there.”
Broken vehicle pieces from the scene of the hit and run were matched to Richey’s vehicle, such as the passenger mirror and an inner wheel cover. Another woman who owned the vehicle Richey was driving said he had her vehicle that day. That woman had a photo on her phone that was sent to her from Richey, which showed the vehicle’s VIN number and was sent 13 minutes before the two men were found on the highway. The woman said Richey later called her and asked her to report the vehicle stolen.
Clifford Warren has undergone surgery on his neck, leg, and pelvis. He remains in the hospital. Duane Warren suffered significant bruising, swelling, and road rash.
Richey’s license is canceled as inimical to public safety.
On Aug. 23, District Judge Gretchen Thilmony set cash bail for Richey at $10,000 or bond at $50,000, under standard conditions of release, or bond at $100,000 bond with no conditions. His next hearing is set for Sept. 13.
DL motel room search turns up meth, pills, $4,000, stolen gun
Tyler Kim Merritt, 27, of Moorhead, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony first- and second-degree controlled substance crime and felony possession of a firearm.
According to court records, On July 28, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a hotel room in Detroit Lakes rented by Merritt. (The motel was not named in the complaint. ) While law enforcement was searching the room, Merritt came back and was arrested.
The search turned up a stolen Glock 23 handgun under a mattress on one of the beds, numerous ammunition rounds, three digital scales, a ledger and receipts, 10 Clonazepam pills,14.8 grams of methamphetamine hidden in bathroom ceiling, 319 blue pills marked “M30” (suspected fentanyl), and over $4,000 in cash.
Merritt was transported to the Becker County Jail but had to be released to the hospital for medical reasons. His whereabouts are unknown at this time. He was convicted of third-degree assault in 2018 and is not allowed to have a gun.
On Aug. 20, Becker County District Judge Jay Carlson issued a warrant for his arrest.
- RELATED: See more Becker County District Court news
Ogema man accused of punching, threatening girlfriend
Ryan Michael Kinslow, 40, of Ogema, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felony threats of violence.
According to court records, On Aug.15, Becker County deputies responded to an assault-in-progress call from an Ogema residence. Upon arrival, officers learned from a woman that Kinslow had punched his girlfriend, JT, multiple times. Another eyewitness said Kinslow threw JT to the ground. A man arrived and Kinslow began to fight with him, hitting him in the head several times.
Both witnesses stated that at some point Kinslow grabbed a knife and was waving it and following JT. He was making comments that he was going to “kill everyone” and “choke you out.” Deputies located the knife and seized it. Kinslow was convicted of domestic assault in 2015.
On Aug. 17, District Judge Jay Carlson set cash bail for Kinslow at $500 or bond at $5,000, under standard conditions of release, or bond at $20,000 bond with no conditions. His next hearing is set for Sept. 13.
Lake Park man accused of assault, multiple death threats
Michael John Groeneweg, 43, of Lake Park, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony third-degree assault and felony threats of violence.
According to court records, On Aug. 13, Detroit Lakes police were dispatched to America’s Best Value Inn, on a report that a woman had called her mother and told her that she was going to be killed. The victim said she had been dating Groeneweg for about two month.
The woman said that, earlier that evening, as she was driving Groeneweg to Detroit Lakes, he began yelling at her and calling her names because he suspected her of cheating.
The victim pulled over at America’s Best Value Inn and told him to get out of the vehicle, but he refused, then grabbed her by the neck and pulled her over the center console. He threatened to kill her multiple times, and tried to grab the vehicle keys out of her hand, twisting her fingers around as she clutched the keys.
He grabbed her by the hair, removing a chunk of the victim’s hair from her scalp.
In a follow-up the next day, the woman said that her finger was broken, she had bruises on her side, chest and arm, and her ribs were bruised badly. On Aug. 27, cash bail for Groeneweg was set at $800 or bond at $10,000, under standard conditions of release, or bond at $20,000 bond with no conditions. His next hearing is set for Sept. 13.