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Published January 14, 2014, 12:46 PM

Lakota, N.D., farmer sentenced to 3 years in cattle theft, terrorizing case

Lakota, N.D., farmer Rodney Brossart was sentenced today to three years in prison, with all but six months suspended during two years of supervised probation.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Lakota, N.D., farmer Rodney Brossart was sentenced today to three years in prison, with all but six months suspended during two years of supervised probation.

“This case should have never happened,” State District Judge Medd said. “Chalk it up to stubbornness, to stupidity, to being at odds with your neighbors or any combination of those. We should never have been here if the cows would have just been returned.”

Brossart was convicted in November of terrorizing law enforcement during his arrest June 23, 2011, over a neighbor's three cows and their calves that strayed on to his farm. It's a Class C felony with a top sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fined. Medd also fined Brossart $1,000 and ordered him to report to the jail Jan.21.

On two misdemeanor charges of preventing arrest and violating the state's stray cattle law, Medd sentenced him to serve shorter sentences at the same time.

In a short written statement, Brossart said he took responsibility for his actions and wished he had done things differently.

Asked by Medd why he didn’t simply turn over the six head of cattle to his neighbor, Brossart said, “Sometimes things don’t make sense.”

Medd told Brossart he would serve the first 90 days – less credit for 16 days he served in 2011 – in the Lake Region jail in Devils Lake and the remaining 90 days under work release. He also prohibited Brossart from possessing firearms during his probation.

Medd followed the recommendation of a pre-sentence report.

Cameron Sillers, the Langdon, N.D., attorney appointed as a special prosecutor in Brossart’s case, had asked for a three-year sentence with two years suspended. He said Brossart had been “a bully” for years to neighbors and local officials in Nelson County.

Bruce Quick, Brossart’s attorney, asked Medd to defer imposition of the sentence or reduce it to a misdemeanor and/or allow Brossart to serve any time under work release or electronic home monitoring.

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