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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Judge drops case against Minn. man accused of threats

  • A Minnesota man accused of trying to extort $50 million from government agencies in North Dakota and threatening to hold tribunals for politicians is not fit for trial and the case does not belong in court, a federal judge says.
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  • A Minnesota man accused of trying to extort $50 million from government agencies in North Dakota and threatening to hold tribunals for politicians is not fit for trial and the case does not belong in court, a federal judge says.
    Prosecutors asked to drop the charges against Brian Jacobson, of Battle Lake, Minn., after psychiatric evaluations found he is "presently suffering from a mental disease or defect," U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said in court documents. A risk assessment showed that Jacobson is unlikely to hurt anyone.
    Hovland on Friday signed an order dismissing the case.
    "Mr. Jacobson was evaluated and found neither competent nor dangerous," said Neil Fulton, head of the federal public defender's office for the Dakotas. "He is an individual who may need services to deal with mental illness, but prison is not the proper place for him or for those services. It is a sad, but unfortunately not unique, situation."
    U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
    Jacobson was charged with two counts of transmitting threatening communications for making the threats primarily in three voice mail messages left in March 2012 to the U.S. Marshals Service in Fargo.
    Jacobson claimed he could legally take U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer and current U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota into custody and put them on trial. He also demanded to be paid $50 million for an alleged contract with the city of Fargo.
    Investigators said Jacobson made similar threats in a conversation with Ottertail County, Minn., Sheriff Brian Schlueter, also in March 2012. Schlueter called back after Jacobson allegedly upset a receptionist in the sheriff's office by threating to fire her because he owned the building.
    Jacobson complained to federal judges in several hearings and in August lashed out at U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson while five court security personnel stood by. Jacobson told Erickson he ruined "two careers" and said the judge should be arrested and handcuffed. He added that the charges were as "bogus and can be" and he couldn't get a fair trial anywhere in the United States.
    "I've had 19 years of torture on this," Jacobson told the judge.

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