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Plea deal reached in Dutton case stemming from disruption of Leith council meeting

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Grand Forks Herald
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Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

BISMARCK – A white separatist who pleaded guilty last week to menacing residents in the small town of Leith has reached a plea agreement on a separate disorderly conduct charge stemming from his disruption of a City Council meeting there in October.

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The plea agreement calls for 29-year-old Kynan Dutton to receive a 10-day jail sentence, with credit for time served since his Nov. 16 arrest on terrorizing charges, and to pay a few hundred dollars in court fees, Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz said.

The misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge alleged that Dutton used “excessive vulgar language” and wandered around the Oct. 18 council meeting in a threatening manner.

Grant County Sheriff Steve Bay stated in an affidavit that Dutton appeared to be intoxicated during the incident, a video of which was posted on YouTube.

Bay escorted Dutton out of the building, and Dutton’s girlfriend, Deborah Henderson, showed up and said she would take him home and he would pass out, the affidavit states.

The plea agreement – which also requires Dutton to undergo an alcohol evaluation and follow through with the recommendations – was filed Tuesday afternoon, but Schwarz said the deal was reached more than a month ago.

Dutton’s attorney, Robert Quick, said Dutton has expressed remorse for the incident and has been sober since it happened. He said filing of the plea agreement was delayed because he was focused on the terrorizing charges against Dutton.

Last Friday, Dutton pleaded guilty to five counts of misdemeanor menacing and two counts of disorderly conduct in a plea agreement that reduced the charges from felony terrorizing. The agreement also requires him to testify if Craig Cobb’s case goes to trial.

The terrorizing charges accused Dutton and Cobb – the white supremacist who bought up property in Leith and invited Dutton and other like-minded people to move there to create an all-white enclave – of approaching Leith residents with loaded firearms during an armed patrol of the town in November.

Judge Donald Jorgensen gave Dutton a one-year suspended jail sentence with credit for time served and two years of supervised probation. Dutton also had to pay $360 in court fees.

He was released from jail shortly after Friday’s hearing.

Cobb remains in the Mercer County Jail in Stanton on $1 million cash bail or $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is set for Feb. 10.

Schwarz said there have been discussions about a plea agreement with Cobb but “nothing even close to finalization at this point.”

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Mike Nowatzki
Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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