Karl pleads out in county court
A 30-year-old Blue Earth man gave up his right to a jury trial on charges stemming from a six-hour armed standoff with authorities in August 2008.
In a plea agreement, Kevin Robert Karl pleaded guilty Thursday in Faribault County District Court to a felony count of terroristic threats, gross misdemeanor harassment and a misdemeanor for not having a hunting license.
His three-day jury trial was scheduled to have started on Oct. 7.
Karl was originally charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and reckless discharge of a gun.
While awaiting trial, Karl was charged with one count of making terroristic threats to his ex-girlfriend and harassment when he called her in March 2009.
The no hunting license violation occurred when he went hunting with his son last December and used a friend’s license. At that time Karl violated conditions of his release that included no use of firearms and supervised visits with his children.
According to a court complaint, law officers responded to a call around 11:13 p.m. regarding an armed male inside a residence at 9184 377th Ave., Blue Earth.When authorities arrived they found a woman standing outside the house behind a tree and talking with county officials on her cell phone.
The woman told a sheriff’s deputy that her 5-year-old daughter was in the house with Karl, who had a gun.
Before entering his guilty pleas, Karl took the stand and was questioned by County Attorney Brian Roverud.
Karl says he had been drinking heavily and doesn’t clearly remember what happened the night of the incident.
When Roverud referred to statements made by the woman that she was fearful for her safety because Karl grabbed and pushed her, he refuted the allegation.
“I never physically touched her that night. I never grabbed her at all. I remember telling her to leave for awhile,” he says.
Karl did admit he may have made statements that caused the woman to be concerned about her safety.
Judge Douglas Richards asked Karl if a jury believed the woman, “Could they find beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the crime?”
Karl responded with, “Yes.”
Karl also admitted when he called his ex-girlfriend in March, he was swearing at her and made threats about her parents.
A sentencing date will need to be set.
Richards ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed within the next 30 days.
At the county attorney’s request, Karl’s psychological and chemical dependency assessments will be turned over to the probation office for its sentencing recommendation.
In addition, Richards says a victim’s statement also will be part of the pre-sentence investigation.
Under the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed not to include firearm enhancement for sentencing, which would have meant a higher sentence.
Defense attorney Jason Kohlmeyer has asked for a stay of imposition for the terroristic threats charge. If granted, Karl would serve time in jail only if he violates conditions of his probation.
On the felony terroristic threats charge, Karl faces a maximum penalty of five years and a $10,000 fine.
He faces up to one year and a $3,000 fine for the harassment charge, and 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine for the no hunting license violation.