Court file reveals details of Bemidji drive-by shooting
A 37-year-old Bemidji man remains in jail on $1 million bail after prosecutors filed three charges, including witness tampering, for a drive-by shooting last weekend.
On Wednesday, Edward Michael Halvorson appeared in court on charges of first-degree witness tampering, which carries up to 20 years in prison if convicted, and felony drive-by shooting and assault with a dangerous weapon.
New details of the drive-by shooting also were revealed Wednesday.
According to court documents:
Around 4 a.m. Saturday the Beltrami County Law Enforcement Center received a call that shots had been fired at a residence at the 3100 block of Mills Street Northeast.
Deputies met with the homeowners and learned the home had been shot twice.
"One bullet came through the bay window and lodged into the west wall of the residence," the complaint reads. "The second bullet went through a wall, entered a bedroom, hit a pile of clothing on top of the bed and lodged into the bed frame."
Deputies found bullet fragments which appeared to come from a .260-caliber rifle.
After being asked by deputies who would want to harm them, the homeowners gave them Halvorson's name.
The homeowners told officers they had been subpoenaed for a jury trial next week that involved Halvorson as the suspect. The homeowners said they witnessed Halvorson crash his vehicle in the Green Mill parking lot in July 2011. Halvorson was subsequently charged for driving while intoxicated.
One of the homeowners told officers he was concerned about Halvorson because a friend told him Halvorson was upset and did not want him or his wife to show up for the jury trial.
The homeowner said he and Halvorson curled on the same team in the early 2000s.
The homeowners could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
On Saturday afternoon law enforcement contacted Halvorson, who agreed to meet with an investigator. Halvorson told the investigator he was at his house Friday night and denied having access to any motor vehicles.
Halvorson said he owned a .260-caliber rifle, .243-caliber rifle, .308-caliber rifle, approximately six .22-caliber rifles and numerous shotguns.
He denied knowing the homeowners and refused to submit to a gun residue test. He agreed to turn over his firearms to the Sheriff's Office for comparison purposes.
Law enforcement spoke to an eyewitness who observed a white Ford pickup truck in the area at the time of the shootings. Law enforcement located a white Ford pickup truck in the parking lot of Halvorson's address. The truck was registered to a construction company.
The owner of the company reported he had let Halvorson drive the vehicle as needed.
Halvorson later informed officials his .260-caliber rifle and his daughter's .30-06 rifle were missing from the residence.
After obtaining a search warrant, deputies searched the home and garage of Halvorson's father, 71-year-old Darwyn Michael Halvorson. In the garage rafters, law enforcement found two long gun cases, partially concealed in a black garbage bag.
One of the cases contained a Ruger M77 rifle with a scope and .260-caliber Remington rifle.
The holder on the stock of the .260-caliber rifle contained nine rounds and three rounds were found in the internal magazine of the rifle. Darwyn was questioned and asked how the weapon got into his garage.
Darwyn said on Sunday Edward came over to his residence and said he needed to put some belongings into the garage. Darwyn said he saw Edward put the gun into the rafters in his garage.
Edward's mother, 63-year-old Gretchen Catherine Swenson, went to the Law Enforcement Center Saturday with her son and was present when Halvorson gave a statement to the investigator. According to complaint, Swenson failed to correct false information her son gave to the investigator.
After leaving the Law Enforcement Center, Edward and his parents took the Ford pickup truck, which was alleged to have been involved in the incident, from Edward's address and cleaned it out. They then returned the vehicle to the truck's owner.
At Edward Halvorson's court hearing Wednesday, District Judge Shari Schluchter set bail for him at $1 million, or $500,000 if he agrees not to have any contact with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, parents or the owners of the home he shot at. Other conditions exclude him from being within one mile of the homeowners' residence, submitting to random alcohol and drug testing, not being allowed in any bars or liquor stores or in possession of any firearms or weapons.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Darwyn has been charged with aiding an offender after the fact. If convicted, he faces three years in prison. He remains in jail on $10,000 bail.
Swenson has been charged with aiding an offender. If convicted she faces three years in prison. Swenson was released upon conditions, including having no contact with her husband, son, son's soon-to-be-ex-wife or the homeowners.
Darwyn and Swenson are also scheduled to appear Monday for a hearing.