A Wrenshall man accused of scratching the word "snitch" into the skin on a young man's chest pleaded guilty in Sixth District Carlton County Court on Friday.
Scott Kendrick Lindgren pleaded guilty to felony kidnapping (with no safe release) and third-degree assault in the May incident.
He also pleaded guilty to terroristic threats in a previous unrelated case that involved gunshots fired into a car, according to Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese, who prosecuted both cases.
Boese said the plea to the earlier case helped the prosecution get a longer sentence, noting that Lindgren did not have any previous felony convictions and, therefore, zero prior criminal points.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lindgren is expected to be sentenced to 50 months in prison, with credit for time served. In return for the guilty pleas, the county agreed to dismiss a charge of witness tampering.
According to the criminal complaint, deputies were called to the Lindgren's residence at 804 County Road 18 around 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 15. A caller indicated there was a juvenile being held hostage and "in really bad shape, tied to a chair and getting his head stomped on."
Deputies responded and found Lindgren and his girlfriend in a car, attempting to leave the scene. The 17-year-old victim was found in the back seat, "in horrible shape, injured and needing medical attention."
Investigators said they determined the teen had been summoned to the residence around midnight. In an interview from his hospital room, the victim told deputies he was tied up and assaulted throughout the day by Lindgren and two accomplices.
The victim reported that he was pistol-whipped to the top of the head, and deputies said he required immediate medical attention for a head and brain injury. He also identified Lindgren as the person who carved "snitch" into his chest with an unknown sharp object. The complaint also stated that Lindgren and his accomplices "racked the .45 caliber so a bullet ejected from the pistol, then dry-fired the pistol in the presence of the victim."
Other people interviewed by law enforcement reported receiving an image on Snapchat — an image-messaging app — of the juvenile victim tied up to a chair, his head covered with a bag and visible blood.
Boese said the third-degree assault charge was for "inflicting temporary but substantial disfigurement" and that the victim was beaten in addition to having his chest cut by Lindgren.
"It's healed up well," the attorney said, adding that there was more blood from the victim being beaten than from the word scratched into his chest.
In a strange coincidence, Lindgren's home burned a week after he was arrested, but no one was home. After making bail and being released a few days later, he fled Minnesota, but was apprehended in Washington state May 31.
Lindgren had been set for a trial in January. Sentencing in the case is set for Jan. 11.