May 25, 2024

Heidinger-Jenson sentenced for burglary and vehicle theft

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 C. A. Ray

Grant Country Herald

Garret David Heidinger-Jenson, 29, Elbow Lake, was sentenced to 57 months in prison, and agree to pay $15,955 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of second degree Burglary and a second count of Theft of a Motor Vehicle, from an incident on September 2, 2021. Judge Doll made the ruling last Monday in District Court. She ruled Heidinger-Jenson must serve 38 months in prison and would serve the remainder of his sentence on supervised release.

A warrant for Heidinger-Jenson’s arrest was issued on November 24, 2021 based on the events of Sept. 2, 2021 that started with a fire call to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 8:02 a.m. The Lyndon and Kay Kratochwill home, at 14573 Fairhaven Beach Road, Ashby was fully engulfed in fire. Responding fire fighters found no one home, but the Kratochwill pontoon was missing from the dock where it was usually moored. Witnesses had seen the pontoon on the lake, headed towards the Pomme de Terre River dam at Tipsinah Mounds Campground, at 5:48 a.m.

At 9:35 a.m. Grant County Sheriff Mark Haberer observed an individual walking alone on a road near the campground and asked him if he needed a ride. The individual said he did not need a ride, was staying at the campground, and was looking for his cell phone charger. 

A couple of minutes later, Haberer found a pontoon tied to a tree between the campground and Pomme de Terre dam. The pontoon was registered to Lyndon and Kay Kratochwill. A search of the area turned up a black bag containing a radio, speakers, a humidor, a cooler filled with beverages, a golf club, a suitcase full of shoes and clothes, and other items.

A search of the humidor found 12 rolls of coins, two bags of pennies, a bag of quarters, and a wedding ring. Most of these items were reported missing from the Kratochwill home.

Later that morning, Tipsinah Mounds Campground caretaker Miah Ulrich reported a surveillance camera showed a person he identified as Garret Heidinger-Jenson, putting bags in a campground dumpster. The bags contained items identified as belonging to the Kratochwills. At 6:18 p.m. Ulrich contacted law enforcement to report a pickup, belonging to the City of Elbow Lake, had been stolen from the campground.

This pickup was located in Kensington at 8:37 p.m. when a surveillance camera showed a tall individual, with a black beard, matching the description of Heidinger-Jenson,  carrying a couple of bags, parking and leaving the vehicle.

A warrant was issued for Garret David Heidinger-Jenson’s arrest on November 24, 2021 for Burglary in the Second Degree and Theft of a Motor Vehicle. He was released on $50,000 bail on Jan. 6. 2022, and on January 27 entered a guilty plea in District Court.

Through his defense attorney, Anthony Bussa, Heidinger-Jenson said he was pleading guilty because of physical evidence and witness evidence against him, as well as evidence seized during a search. Bussa said Heidinger-Jenson understood the seriousness of what he did, and will try to overcome his addiction to drugs that, he claimed, were a contributing factor in his behavior.

“He is intelligent and will learn, and become a better person,” Bussa said.

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