Virgil Dufault accused of crashing into overhead doors at jail, and Ampride building.

    After a Rule 20 evaluation and a review hearing, a Ninth District Court Judge has ruled a defendant competent and has reinstated criminal proceedings against him after a February 2017 incident led to damage at the jail and Ampride gas station.

    Virgil Ray Dufault, 62, is accused of driving through both the overhead sally port doors at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center and striking the Ampride gas station building near the convenience store entrance doors causing property damage to both locations.

    After Dufault was arrested, he was sent to have a Rule 20 evaluation which determines if a defendant is competent to participate in the proceedings. On May 15, Dr. Charles S. Chmielewski diagnosed Dufault with Bipolar I disorder and said he was currently hypomanic. Dr. Chmielewski said his client’s thinking was too scattered and disorganized for him to stay focused, and to adequately participate in his defense.

    One of two charges, the misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal damage to property, was then dismissed. The first-degree felony criminal damage to property was suspended and, unless a prosecutor could determine that the defendant had regained competency, there is a three-year window that the charge could also be dismissed.

    On November 22, Judge Tamara Yon found Dufault competent and requested a transport back to Polk County from the Community Competency Restoration Program in St. Peter, Minnesota.

    Dufault’s next court appearance has yet to be determined.