Mary Divine / St. Paul Pioneer Press
STILLWATER, Minn.—Prosecutors said Friday that they may never know why Edward Johnson allegedly attacked and killed Stillwater corrections officer Joseph Gomm. Gomm's killing on July 18 seems "completely senseless," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. "When people ask me, I say: 'Some people do things because they can.' We haven't been able to find a motive. ... This might be one of those cases where we'll never know, and that is frustrating for many of us."
STILLWATER, Minn.—A Stillwater inmate used a prison-issued hammer and two improvised knives to kill a corrections officer last month, according to murder charges filed Thursday. Edward Muhammad Johnson, 42, had checked out the hammer from the industry building at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater before fatally bludgeoning officer Joseph Gomm on July 18, charges say. Washington County prosecutors charged him Thursday, Aug. 2, with second-degree intentional murder and second-degree assault.
ST. PAUL—When Eric Buck drove past the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 380 near Waterloo, Iowa, last month, he asked his children to pray for the people involved. The St. Paul man and three of his six children were headed home from Iowa during a snowstorm on Dec. 29 when they saw a dozen cars "totaled in a pileup" and witnessed first responders cutting open a car that had been struck by a semitrailer truck.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater is expanding in a big way. Company officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 2, that they plan to build a $10 million, 35,000-square-foot brewery and tap room in Stillwater. They are working with city officials in Stillwater and hope to get $1 million in tax-increment financing for the project, said Brad Glynn, co-founder and co-owner. The brewery, which is currently located at 1900 Tower Drive W., needs more space, Glynn said. It has outgrown the 16,000 square feet it currently owns and leases, he said.
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn.—Former Twin Cities sports-radio personality Jeff Dubay, who has previously run afoul of the law for methamphetamine possession, has pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. Dubay entered his guilty plea on Monday in front of Washington County District Judge William Ekstrom. He will be sentenced March 22 and could face up to four months in jail. Dubay, 49, was arrested in August and charged with a felony after he allegedly assaulted a woman in the basement of a Cottage Grove house. Dubay previously denied any wrongdoing.
FOREST LAKE, Minn.—It didn't take Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry long to make his decision. After watching the Forest Lake City Council vote to disband the city's police department on Monday night, sitting through lengthy public comments at the Washington County Board meeting on Tuesday morning, and meeting with Forest Lake police officers later that night, Starry said he knew he had to withdraw a controversial proposal for his office to provide police services to the city.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has issued a call for increased protection of Muslim students after an incident earlier this month between two students at Afton-Lakeland Elementary School. A fifth-grader at the school allegedly threatened to shoot a third-grader, who is Somali-American, and the next school day brought an airsoft-style pistol onto the school bus, officials said. The bus driver reported the incident and the school called the Washington County sheriff's office the morning of Nov. 14.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Patty Wetterling has the chance to talk face to face with the man who abducted and killed her son, she wants to know one thing: Why? "It makes no sense," Patty Wetterling said during an interview Tuesday afternoon. "I wrestle with the 'Why?' of all this. We know what happened and when and where, but we don't know why. As a rational person, you try to figure it out, but this one you can't, because it makes no sense."
ST. JOSEPH, Minn. — After nearly 30 years of searching, wondering, waiting and hoping, Patty and Jerry Wetterling finally know what happened to their son Jacob. The Stearns County Sheriff's office confirmed Saturday that the remains of 11-year-old Jacob, missing since 1989, have been found. "Our family is drawing strength from all your love & support," Patty Wetterling posted on Twitter Saturday afternoon. "We're struggling with words at this time. Thank you for your hope." She declined to comment further.