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Jury finds Sawyer man not guilty of domestic assault

Jamin Paul Beardsley was found not guilty of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault with the intent to cause fear by a jury on Friday, Aug. 26.

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Carlton County Courthouse in Carlton. 2019 file / Pine Journal
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CARLTON — Two days of testimony and arguments in a case against a Sawyer man resulted in a jury finding him not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and domestic assault on Friday, Aug. 26.

Beardsley, Jamin.jpg
Jamin Paul Beardsley

Jamin Paul Beardsley, 47, faced charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony; and domestic assault with intent to cause fear, a gross misdemeanor, from an incident at his home in 2019.

Beardsley failed to appear for court in April 2021 and spent over a year evading law enforcement before he was arrested May 28. He has also been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from a separate incident.

Jury deliberations lasted for roughly two hours.

After the verdict, defense attorney Joanna Wiegert asked Judge Amy Lukasavitz to reconsider Beardsley's bail and pretrial release.

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His bail had been set at $50,000 with a $5,000 cash option, and Wiegert asked for it to be reduced to $25,000 with a $2,500 cash option and allow for pretrial release.

Wiegert said Beardsley would not be a flight risk as he now feels that justice can occur.

She added that she believed the prior warrant was a result of panic and a feeling of lost hope by Beardsley.

Nicole Ketola, an attorney for the county, said Beardsley is a flight risk and referenced the difficulty law enforcement had at trying to apprehend him for over a year.

After taking time to decide, and acquaint herself with the other case, Lukasavitz said bail would remain the same in the case, but would recommend Beardsley for pretrial release with the condition he has no contact with the victim in the pending case and obeys the rules set by his probation officer.

According to the accuser's testimony on Wednesday, Aug. 24 , she said that she had been living with the Beardsleys in November 2019 as she was a friend of Beardsley's wife and needed a place to stay in July or August 2019.

During her time at the home, the woman said she noticed the Beardsleys arguing and alleged Beardsley would say derogatory things to her.

After taking Beardsley's wife to a friend's house late in the evening on Nov. 2, 2019, she said she returned to an intoxicated Beardsley, who pointed a gun at her and accused her of ruining his family.

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Wiegert refuted some of the claims made by the woman in her testimony and said the Beardsleys were not intoxicated the night before and had not been arguing — something that both Beardsley and his wife testified to.

Wiegert said popular culture is full of stories of people doing terrible things for the benefit of other people.

In her closing argument, Wiegert said the woman made the decision that Beardsley was a "bad guy" and wanted to show his wife that.

During Beardsley's testimony he said his wife had told him not to wait up when she left that night, and said he thought both women would not be returning.

When the woman returned home, Beardsley said he did not know it was her and thought it could have been an intruder trying to get into his home, which is why he got his handgun out.

Beardsley said he had been awake with his daughter in his room, his son was upstairs, and wanted to protect his children if it was an intruder.

According to photos presented during testimony, the door that the woman came through was close to the Beardsley's bedroom.

In Beardsley's testimony he said he was relieved that he saw the woman come through the door and never had pointed the gun at her; only holding it at his side.

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Wiegert said this interaction was the opportunity for the woman to show Beardsley's wife that he was a bad guy.

Ketola remarked in her closing statement that Beardsley was blaming the woman for driving his wife to a male friend's home late at night.

Ketola referenced Beardsley's wife's testimony that she stated she needed to leave the home because she "needed comfort" as the couple were in a rough patch in their marriage.

Testimony from Beardsley, and his wife and daughter stated that, while their marriage has endured some difficulties, they were not arguing the day prior to the incident.

"This just doesn't make sense, if they weren't arguing, why did she need comfort?" said Ketola, who argued that the woman was not trying to ruin the family but to help her friend.

Lukasavitz said a scheduling conference will be scheduled in the near future to prepare for the separate case against Beardsley.

MORE FROM DYLAN SHERMAN:
City officials have until the end of the calendar year to change the city budget to account for the increase. A proposal could come before the council as soon as its Dec. 6 meeting. The new rate would add $3.95 to residential water bills.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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