On TV, ex-boyfriend accused of hiring a hit man apologizes

While apologies are always appreciated, admitting on TV that you hired a hit man is not a great legal strategy. Fox9 News is reporting: “Against his attorney’s advice, a Minnesota man accused of trying to hire a hitman to kidnap and kill his ex girlfriend said in an exclusive interview [that he] apologized to all the people he hurt. Jesse Ericson gave FOX 9 News an exclusive interview and although his memory is selective, he reportedly does not deny many of the allegations. ‘I didn’t want to hurt her,’ said Ericson, who posted $250,000 bail. ‘I wrecked that relationship. I didn’t want to do that.’ In April, Ericson met with an undercover officer posing as a hit man at an area casino, the report said. The two met three more times in the parking lot of a liquor store, and all the conversations were captured in audio and video recordings. … He has a long rap sheet and restraining orders from many ex-girlfriends, the station reported.” This is why ladies Google their dates.

Speaking of legal … Amy Senser’s prosecutor is pretty emphatic in her disagreement with the defense attorney on the severity of her sentence. Abby Simons of the Strib reports: “Amy Senser has displayed only “hollow excuses,” not remorse, for the hit-and-run crash last August that killed a popular chef and deserves the maximum-allowable sentence of nearly five years in prison, a prosecutor argued Thursday in response to a defense motion requesting leniency. … Senser ‘has not shown remorse for her criminal choice to drive away after crashing into Mr. Phanthavong. She has not shown remorse for her choice not to call 911 immediately after the crash, and she has not shown remorse for her choice not to report the crash the next day — even after she realized that she had killed Mr. Phanthavong and for 10 additional days thereafter,’ Russell wrote. ‘Instead, [the] defendant has continually minimized her criminal choices with hollow excuses.’ ”

The Occupy Homes group, fighting aggressive bank foreclosure tactics, says it is seeing some success. At MPR, Madeleine Baran reports: “Occupy Homes organizer Chris Gray says the 8-month-old group has helped three homeowners in the Twin Cities successfully negotiate with mortgage lenders. The group’s staged sit-ins at foreclosed properties have led to 40 arrests, including local rapper Brother Ali outside a Minneapolis home last month. But Gray says the long-term goal of the group is to build support networks so that homeowners can help each other. … The number of foreclosures in the Twin Cities remains well above pre-recession levels.”

With ridership off again, the North Star commuter rail line has cut fares 25 percent. At the Strib, Pat Doyle writes: “Ridership declined 2.8 percent through May of this year and is lagging even further behind expectations for 2012. Metro Transit officials blame it on a variety of factors, including the Twins’ drawing fewer riders to Target Field, and say adjusting fares is part of the line’s growing pains. ‘We are a brand-new system and kind of have to play with price and demand to get it right,’ said Ed Byers, deputy chief operating officer for commuter and light rail at Metro Transit. But a transportation researcher critical of rail transit says the relative ease of driving and parking in Minneapolis practically guarantees soft demand for the commuter train. ‘You’re not looking at a market that was suited to this,’ said David Levinson, a professor at the University of Minnesota.” But if it connected to Chicago at 180 mph …

The Strib story about Barbara Derus’s more-gone-than-here attendance at her Three Rivers Park commissioner job has gotten quick results. Says Tom Meersman: “Derus has resigned and will not complete a four-year term that expires at the end of the year. Derus sent a letter of resignation June 29, the same day that the Star Tribune published a report that she missed 14 of 22 board meetings and workshops during the past 12 months. ‘My intentions were always to do what was best for the park board and make the necessary commitment required for this position,’ she wrote in the letter to Mike Opat, chairman of the Hennepin County Board that appointed her. ‘Unfortunately, this is no longer possible due to my work and travel schedule.’ … She is the daughter of former Hennepin County Commissioner John Derus and works in the corporate tax department for Ecolab, with frequent travel to Europe.”

At the very least, heat may have been involved … Emily Gurnon of the PiPress says: “A man who told police he “tapped” the driver’s-side window of another motorist after she backed into his car has been charged with first-degree criminal damage to property and fifth-degree assault. The window broke, spraying the driver with glass. Keyon Latrewl Douglas, 40, of St. Paul told police he was driving a 2001 Chrysler Concorde shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, in St. Paul when a woman in a green Ford pickup backed into him and sped off, according to a criminal complaint. ‘Douglas said he caught up to her, tapped on her window, and it broke,’ according to the complaint filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court. Police noted ‘minor damage’ to his front license plate. The complaint also alleges: A witness said Douglas tried to pull the other driver from her pickup, but Douglas denied that. … Douglas followed her to the area of Burns and U.S. 61, where there is a stoplight, and got out of his car. He ‘smashed out the pickup’s driver’s-side window and shattered glass, causing numerous cuts and scrapes to (her) arms and legs.’ The complaint said Douglas’s driver’s license lists him as being 6 feet tall and weighing 380 pounds.” Whoa. Someone might want to mix in a salad with their road rage.

And while we’re on the subject of anger issues … David Hanners at the PiPress reports: “A Blaine hacker’s 18-year prison sentence was just and proper, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, July 5. In considering the appeal of Barry Vincent Ardolf, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said his crimes merited the stiff punishment that a federal judge handed out a year ago. ‘Given Ardolf’s serious and repeated invasions of the victims’ privacy and security, as well as his plans to continue such conduct had law enforcement not intervened, the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Ardolf to 216 months imprisonment,’ a three-judge panel of the court wrote in its opinion. Ardolf, 47, is at the federal prison in Elkton, Ohio. His current release date is in March 2026, and he’ll be under court supervision for 20 years after he gets out. In June 2010, a grand jury indicted Ardolf for a bizarre scheme to wreak havoc on the lives of a couple who had moved in next to him on a Blaine cul-de-sac.”

Also … your summer-holiday-week fraud sentencing … via John Welbes of the PiPress: “Renee Marie Brown, a former investment adviser, will spend four years and three months in prison for a fraud scheme whose victims included investors and her former business partners. … Brown, 48, of Golden Valley, was a partner in Wildwood Wealth Management, a small firm with a few partners, when she asked clients to invest in ‘Fund X.’ She described it as a bond fund that would generate an 8 percent or 9 percent return annually. In fact, prosecutors said, the money she raised in 2009 wasn’t invested in bonds and instead was used ‘as her own personal piggy bank,’ allowing her to buy a condominium for $500,000. All told, Brown defrauded investors out of $750,000.”

I’m feeling a little queazy … . Emily Weiss at City Pages reports: “Yesterday marked the Depot Tavern’s third annual Diamond Dog Eating contest. Participants were challenged with taking down as many pepper bacon-wrapped, pretzel bun-encased, 1/4-pound beauties as they possibly could in the span of 10 minutes. The rules were simple and few: No restroom trips, no vomiting, and beverages are allowed.  This year, six contestants bravely stepped up to the plate, but only one walked away with the top prize of 10 pairs of tickets to First Avenue shows, a $50 gift card to the Depot, and a platinum-level membership to First Avenue. Eric ‘Silo’ Dahl, a big-time competitive eater and last year’s reigning Diamond Dog champ, took down 12 dogs in 10 minutes …  Just weeks ago, Dahl completed a 54-by-54-inch, 50-pound pizza eating challenge with a team of five other competitive eaters. Among other impressive stats, Dahl has also eaten 9.5 pounds of lutefisk in just six minutes, setting the record for the National Lutefisk Eating Championship held in Spring Grove, Minnesota.” That guy has to donate his stomach to the Smithsonian.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/06/2012 - 07:41 am.

    I much prefer the train

    Professor Levinson and I disagree on the North Star.

    An old retired guy, I don’t have to commute, fortunately, but having suffered through a few years of downtown traffic, I say with some assurance that I would never, ever, drive to an event at Target Field from my home in the north end unless someone was pointing a loaded gun at my head.

    The cost of parking at a downtown ramp is more than the round-trip fare on North Star from the Fridley station (and that’s before today’s fare-lowering), not to mention the cost of gas, wear and tear on the car, etc., and there are no parking ramps downtown that can beat the convenience of stepping off the train and literally being at the stadium, not a block or three or five away from the nearest entry gate.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 07/06/2012 - 08:47 am.

    Commuter rail and sports fans?

    It’s kind of like gilding the lily.

    A taxpayer subsidized ticket to the Twins/Vikings (didn’t Marty quote a figure of $77 per seat at the Vikings?) and a $19 subsidy for the ride on the commuter rail (according to the Strib article)..

    That’s a subsidy of $96 per attendee. For a family of four, its a $384 subsidy for an afternoon at the game.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/06/2012 - 08:58 am.

    Big Lake?

    You can’t build a train to nowhere and expect people to ride it. Thank Pawlenty for keeping that train from going to nowhere instead of St. Cloud. Personally, I think the first commuter line should have been between Rochester and MPLS, but what do I know.

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