Eckberg hearing resumes today

A contested omnibus hearing for former Lumberjack Days organizer Dave Eckberg scheduled for Wednesday in 10th Judicial District Court was continued until today after new evidence was submitted in the case.
Eckberg was charged late last year with 10 counts of felony theft by check and issuance of dishonored check charges after several groups and businesses filed complaints against Eckberg claiming he issued them worthless checks in payment for goods and services.
After a lengthy conversation in chambers with prosecutors and Eckberg’s attorney, Eric Thole, 10th Judicial District Judge Susan Miles said she needs time to go over new evidence submitted to the court that included memos, charts, incident reports and a victim witness interview.
Eckberg’s hearing resumes this afternoon.
Accused groper pleads guilty, sentencing set for October

Reuben Ramcharit, who faced sex-related charges after an April groping incident in the Stillwater Cub Foods parking lot, pleaded guilty to two charges in 10th Judicial District Court Monday.
Ramcharit pled guilty to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct filed by the Washington County Attorney’s office and a gross misdemeanor stalking charge filed by the Stillwater City Attorney’s office.
Ramcharit’s alleged actions came to light when a 22-year-old Oak Park Heights woman reported being sexually groped April 3 while getting in to her vehicle in the grocery store parking lot.
Ramcharit allegedly admitted to Stillwater Police officers that he assaulted two other unidentified victims at the same Stillwater location on the same day. He is also known to have past issues with similar situations in Roseville.
Sentencing for Ramcharit is set for Oct. 9.

Lakeland man convicted of domestic assault

A Lakeland man was convicted of domestic assault by strangulation last week.
The man, identified in court documents as Mark Allen Platzer, was charged in connection with a Jan. 9 incident involving his girlfriend’s daughter. Platzer was sentenced to a stay of execution plus 12 months and one day in jail, three years probation, 94 days in jail with 94 days of credit and fined $300 plus surcharges and fees. He must not use alcohol and drugs and submit to random testing. A no-contact order has been established and he must take a domestic abuse program, get a psychological exam and have no same or similar offenses.
Court documents said Platzer, whose residence is his business, and his girlfriend’s daughter argued about a customer and the business. The victim went outside where the argument continued and Platzer allegedly charged the victim and grabbed her by the throat and squeezed until she couldn’t breathe.

Two women accused of shoplifting from OPH store

Two women, one from Oakdale and the other from Maplewood, face theft charges after an Aug. 15 alleged shoplifting incident at an Oak Park Heights store.
The women, identified in court documents as Christina Lee Coombs and Briana Nichole Jefferson, were carrying large handbags that appeared to be bulging in the Oak Park Heights TJ Maxx store. Numerous items of children’s clothing worth more than $350 were found in the women’s bags.
Court documents state that Oak Park Heights Police offiers were told that Coombs and Jefferson were involved in an Aug. 3 incident at the same store when the pair were caught on surveillance video allegedly stealing several handbags with a total value of nearly $2,350.
Store officials and police allege Coombs and Jefferson stole a total of almost $2,700 worth of goods from the store, according to court records.

Inmate accused of assaulting corrections staffer

A Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater inmate faces an assault charge in connection wtih an incident involving a staff member at the Bayport prison.
The inmate, identified in court documents as Darnell Lavary Wilkes, allegedly threw a cupful of lukewarm fluid thought to be urine at a corrections officer and repeatedly spit on the officer’s face.
The corrections officer said the liquid splashed on his jacket and pants and Wilkes’ spit got in his eye. A surveillance video allegedly shows the corrections officer getting something thrown on him and getting spit on. Wilkes has allegedly admitted to the assault to investigators, court records said.
Contact Avery Cropp at [email protected]