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Wrenshall man sentenced in kidnapping, assault case

Scott Lindgren

A Wrenshall man who carved the word "snitch" across a kidnap victim's chest and posted a photo of the victim on Snapchat was sentenced to 50 months in prison Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Scott Kendrick Lindgren, 21, was charged in May 2017 with seven felonies related to the alleged kidnapping and assault of a 17-year-old Duluth teen at his Silver Brook Township home May 15. Lindgren was released from jail after posting bond and subsequently fled. He was re-arrested May 31 in Washington state after a warrant was issued for alleged threats of violence and witness tampering.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Lindgren pleaded guilty to felony charges of kidnapping (with no safe release) and third-degree assault in one case, and terroristic threats in the second case. Charges of second degree assault, false imprisonment, fifth-degree possession of marijuana and threats of violence were dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies were dispatched to the home near Wrenshall after a 911 caller said there was a juvenile being held hostage and "in really bad shape, tied to a chair and getting his head stomped on."

Lindgren and accomplices allegedly held the victim against his will, tying him to a chair and carving or scratching the word "snitch" into his chest with a sharp object. The victim had several other injuries including a large burn on his neck, and reported that he was pistol whipped to the top of the head. He had a severe head injury.

He identified Lindgren as the person who carved the word into his chest.

Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese said the decision to offer the plea deal was made in conjunction with the victim, noting that the victim had also been willing to testify should the case go to trial. He noted that Lindgren had no prior criminal history, and that the 50-month sentence was within guidelines.

Boese said the victim is doing well in his life now, played two sports this year at high school and is planning to join the Marines after graduation.

"If anything good came out of this, it's that he (the victim) took the lesson that being involved in the sale of illicit drugs is not a path to future success," he told the court.

Defense attorney Joanna Wiegert said Lindgren had realized that he would end up in prison or dead if he continued down his current path.

"He expressed intent to utilize his time (in prison) effectively to get himself on the right track," Wiegert said, noting later that it was a good deal for him. "He is highly motivated and has a new baby. I saw him change from someone who was angry to remorseful and looking forward to try to make something positive out of something very negative."

Lindgren spoke during the hearing, thanking the court for the "very reasonable" plea agreement.

"Sometime everyone needs to take responsibility for what happened," he said. "You play with fire, you get burned."

Judge Leslie Beiers stressed to Lindgren that these were very serious crimes and noted that she reviewed the presentence investigation several times, and saw he expressed remorse there.

"I don't hear that as much today," she said, noting that he was at a crossroads in his life. "You can take advantage of treatment opportunities, parenting classes, education — it's really up to you," she said in front of a courtroom filled mostly with Lindgren's friends and family members. "If you continue your past behavior, I think everyone can predict the ending."

Lindgren was also sentenced to 15 months for assault, to be served concurrently with the 50-month sentence, at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He has been at St. Cloud since he pleaded guilty. He will be credited for 255 days already served.