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Man who threatened Dakota Access protesters pleads guilty, avoids jail time

Jesse D. McLain

BISMARCK—A Bismarck man shown in a viral video wearing a mask and threatening Dakota Access Pipeline protesters has pleaded guilty and will avoid jail time.

Jesse Dean McLain signed a plea agreement downgrading two Class C felony charges of terrorizing to two Class A misdemeanor counts of menacing. The charges stem from an early December confrontation with Dakota Access protesters at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck, where Dean Dedman Jr. recorded a live Facebook video of masked men threatening him and other hotel guests.

The video shows vehicles preventing Dedman and his driver from leaving, with the masked men saying they would sexually assault the victims' wives and "f--- you up."

McLain was arrested shortly after the incident. He faced five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each charge, but his plea deal filed in Burleigh County District Court said a one-year jail sentence would be suspended, meaning he doesn't have to serve time if he completes a year of probation and goes through anger management.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248