Teen will face assault charges as an adult in September incident

A Duluth teenager is being charged as an adult for allegedly trying to rob several late night revelers at gunpoint along with three other individuals last September.

A Duluth teenager is being charged as an adult for allegedly trying to rob several late night revelers at gunpoint along with three other individuals last September.

On Jan. 18, Dustin Hawke St. Clair, 17, was charged in Carlton County Court with aiding and abetting aggravated robbery in the first degree. On Monday, defense attorney Joanna Wiegert requested a pre-trial release study for St. Clair, who had been in custody at the Arrowhead Juvenile Center since his arrest in September, until being transferred to the Carlton County Jail after he was certified as an adult. Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese objected to the release, based on St. Clair's criminal history as a juvenile and the nature of the current offense.

According to the criminal complaint:

Cloquet police officers responded to a call at approximately 1:19 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2012, to the 1400 block of Maplewood Avenue in Cloquet. There they learned from the son of the homeowners that he had been hosting a party earlier in the evening in a detached garage on the premises.

The party was broken up by the parents upon their arrival home. While the son and five or six others were cleaning up the garage, an adult male reportedly came into the garage carrying a handgun. The homeowners' son stated the handgun was then pointed at his head and the intruder made threats against his life unless he provided the assailant with money.


The victim said he managed to eject the man from the garage, however, shutting the main door behind him. A short time later, the same intruder returned with his handgun, along with at least two other males, and threatened the victim and his friends once again. At that point one of the other intruders - who also had a handgun - fired his gun into the ceiling of the garage as if to make his point that they meant business. However, the victim said he once again forced all of the intruders out of the garage, this time locking the main door behind them, and the assailants disappeared into a wooded area near the home.

Upon the arrival of the police, an immediate search began, and they located two adult males and two juveniles who were thought to be involved in the attempted robbery. The two adult males with handguns were identified as Robert Dwayne Jeff, 18, and Jaque Love, 25. Both men admitted to involvement in the attempted robbery, though Jeff denied having fired the gun into the ceiling of the garage. The juveniles were St. Clair and Nicholas Ammesmaki, who are both being tried as adults.

Further investigation yielded information from Love regarding the general area where one of the handguns had been discarded. The following day Conservation Officer Scott Staples and his K9 partner Schody canvassed the area in question and Schody located both the handgun and a pair of gloves thought to have been used by one of the perpetrators in the incident.

Boese said he moved to certify St. Clair as an adult for two reasons: First, he was 17 years old at the time of the violent crime, and there is a presumption that he will be tried as an adult. Two, St. Clair has a lengthy criminal record.

"He has had extensive contacts with the juvenile court and has failed every step of the way," Boese said.

Two of the three other related cases are still working their way through the court system.

Love was released at the time of the incident because of his level of cooperation, but a warrant has since been issued for his arrest. Ammesmaki, according to Boese, requested to be prosecuted as an adult and has a contested omnibus coming up.

Jeff pleaded guilty to second-degree assault Dec. 19 and was sentenced Jan. 16. A three-year prison sentence was stayed for three years of probation under numerous conditions. Jeff was also sentenced to serve nine months local confinement with credit for123 days already served.

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