Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Rohl sentenced a former Ellsworth man to two years in prison Dec. 14 after a slew of domestic violence arrests spanning at least eight cases. David Allen …
Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Rohl sentenced a former Ellsworth man to two years in prison Dec. 14 after a slew of domestic violence arrests spanning at least eight cases.
David Allen Bakken, 41, South St. Paul, Minn., was convicted of felony intimidate victim/domestic abuse crime (use of a dangerous weapon, domestic abuse repeater – during 72-hour no contact period), felony damage or threat to property of a witness, resisting or obstructing an officer, retail theft – intentionally take, battery (domestic abuse), disorderly conduct (domestic abuse), misdemeanor bail jumping, two felony bail jump-
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ing and two criminal damage to property charges. He was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of extended supervision, ordered to pay $2,533.33 in restitution and fined $4,662. Multiple charges were dismissed, including felony burglary – arm self with dangerous weapon, three domestic battery, two domestic disorderly conduct (one with use of dangerous weapon), criminal damage to property, contact after domestic abuse arrest, 9 felony bail jumping, 25 misdemeanor bail jumping and three misdemeanor bail jumping (domestic abuse) charges. Court records indicate Bakken enrolled in Minnesota Adult/Teen Challenge while awaiting sentencing.
According to the complaints: At 7:13 a.m. April 1, 2021, Ellsworth police responded to 166 E. Main St., where David Bakken and the victim lived at the time. Police were familiar with the address due to multiple domestic incident calls. Dispatch reported a woman on the phone who was afraid of Bakken.
As a squad pulled up the long, gravel driveway, the officer saw a man exit the house carrying items. When the man saw police, he turned the opposite direction and took off running, dropping things as he fled.
The victim told police Bakken had broken into the house while she was sleeping and had hit her with a shovel before fleeing. He had gotten into the house by climbing a ladder into the attic area. The victim had locked all the doors for the night, but woke up to her dogs growling and barking. Bakken was standing in the bedroom, throwing things around the room. Bakken was not supposed to be in the house due to a 72-hour no contact order put in place after a previous incident. When the victim called police, Bakken left the bedroom and returned with a shovel, threatening to kill her. As he began swinging the shovel, she covered herself with a body pillow in an attempt to protect herself. After he struck her, he took a DVR camera system with him, which contained recordings from a domestic incident the night before.
Police found the DVR system outside lying on the ground. It also appeared Bakken had broken the dead bolt on the front door as he left. When officers viewed the video footage from the camera system, it was apparent someone had repositioned the rear camera to point at the sky at 6:21 a.m. Just before the camera was repositioned, a dog that Bakken had previously taken with him appeared on camera.
Ellsworth police and Pierce County deputies attempted to locate Bakken, but were unsuccessful at that time. However, a local repair shop notified police that Bakken had stopped in at 11:11 a.m. to inquire about his vehicle, which was being fixed. Police responded to the shop and arrested him there. He denied being at 166 E. Main St. or having any contact with the victim.
Police had also responded to the home at 1:06 a.m. March 31 when Bakken called the police on the victim, who was found hiding in a dog house. Their accounts differed as to what had happened, but Bakken was violating a no-contact order by being there. The victim said he had smashed windows on her vehicle and struck her with the handle of a tire jack 16 to 17 times; marks on her body were consistent with this account. Bakken accused the victim of ramming his motorcycle on purpose.
A structure fire at the residence brought law enforcement and the fire department at 6:54 a.m. May 25. It appeared no one was home at the time, although a pet was onsite (but not injured). During the investigation, police made contact with the victim, who had not been home at the time the fire broke out.
While talking to the victim on May 26, police learned Bakken had been at the residence May 23 and 24. The victim had video of Bakken cutting the soft top of her 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible at 2 a.m. May 23. He had also allegedly poured kerosene onto the roof, which had leaked into the vehicle and dripped down the windows. He told the victim he had poured leather conditioner onto the rooftop, but when she let the dog out the morning of May 23, she found a 1-gallon container with a kerosene label on it tipped over on the shed floor next to the vehicle. The victim also suspected she was being poisoned with kerosene, but had no proof.
Text messages received by the victim around 12:23 a.m. May 25 reference a “hothouse” and “talking over, it’s action time.”
According to the Ellsworth Police Department, officers are still investigating the cause of the structure fire.