Weather Forecast


Women charged in separate vehicular injury incidents

Margaret Elizabeth Barten1 / 2
Beth Allison Lapp2 / 2

Two women appeared in Hubbard County District Court Monday on felony charges of causing injuries to their significant others in separate vehicular accidents.

Omnibus hearings have been set for June 18 in each defendant's case.

Margaret Elizabeth Barten, 56, appeared in Hubbard County District Court Monday on four charges in connection with the single vehicle rollover May 7 that injured Lynn Barten, 49. Lynn Barten was airlifted to a Fargo hospital with injuries including fractured ribs.

The complaint states Margaret Barten was under the influence of alcohol when she and her husband left a bar on County 18 and she lost control of the vehicle.

She denied to officers that she was the driver, the complaint states.

Eyewitnesses placed her behind the wheel, according to the complaint.

She is charged with two counts of Criminal Vehicular Operation, one causing substantial harm and one causing bodily harm. The count resulting in substantial bodily harm is punishable by a maximum of three years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine; the lesser charge carries a maximum of one year and/or a $3,000 fine.

She also faces two counts of Fourth Degree DWI, each punishable by a maximum of 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

In the second case, Beth Allison Lapp, 44, of Bemidji, also appeared Monday on two counts of Criminal Vehicular Operation in connection with an accident Jan. 22 that caused serious injuries to her alleged boyfriend, Christopher Thomas Padrnos, 23, according to the criminal complaint.

The two were celebrating at an after-hours holiday party at a rural bar when Lapp struck Padrnos as he was walking on County Road 9, the complaint states.

She told authorities Padrnos "slipped or tripped and fell down and she struck him with the vehicle," the complaint states. Those charges each carry a maximum of three years and/or a $10,000 fine upon conviction.

Both women are free on bond.

Padrnos, according to the complaint, suffered a fractured femur, fractured patella, lacerations and an intracranial bleed.

The Lapp case prompted Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne to propose instituting administrative hearings for alcohol establishments that violate state liquor laws. He said he would bring the proposal back to the Hubbard County board after he's done more legal research.

Lapp and Padrnos attended an after-hours party at the bar where they worked, which Dearstyne told the board constituted an illegal sale even if the employees weren't charged for their drinks.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364