BRAINERD, Minn. -- A former Lakeville, Minnesota, middle school principal who had repeated run-ins with the law in recent years was found dead in the Crow Wing County jail on Saturday, Nov. 20, according to Sheriff Scott Goddard.

Christopher Jerome Endicott, 53, who was sentenced in 2019 to eight years in prison for identity theft, stalking and burglary, was found unresponsive in his cell in the Brainerd jail. Lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.

Endicott was being held in the jail on a Minnesota Department of Corrections warrant. The circumstances of the warrant weren't immediately clear Tuesday, Nov. 23, but Endicott had been released on Nov. 2 to participate in the Challenge Incarceration Program, according to the DOC's online inmate profile. The voluntary program offers inmates intensive programming ahead of close community supervision.

The sheriff's office said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was asked to investigate the cause of Endicott's death.

Christopher Jerome Endicott
Christopher Jerome Endicott

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Endicott, formerly of Apple Valley, pleaded guilty in June 2019 to two counts each of gross misdemeanor stalking and felony burglary in connection with a rash of crimes he blamed on "financial ruin." In February 2019, he pleaded guilty to felony identity theft as well.

He was the principal of Century Middle School when the Lakeville School District learned he had remotely accessed computer devices of a school employee. He resigned in May 2018.

Search warrants executed at Endicott’s work and Apple Valley home revealed significant personal and financial information about school employees and neighbors.

During the investigation it was discovered that Endicott had broken into his neighbors' houses, stealing jewelry and sports cards. Burglary charges filed in North Dakota in 2018 accused him of stealing $16,500 in rare coins from his family members.

At his 2019 sentencing in Dakota County, Endicott apologized to his 18 victims, including former colleagues, neighbors and in-laws; a teacher whom he had an affair with in 2011; and an Apple Valley police officer.

“I don’t pretend that what I did will ever make sense, even to me,” he said at the time.

Before the convictions, Endicott had not had a criminal record in Minnesota, other than a speeding conviction in Dakota County in 2011, court records showed.