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'Sir Death' pot case poised for probation?

Karl R. Heinrichs

The Stillwater man accused of stashing more than 130 pounds of pot in a St. Croix County storage unit could avoid prison, according to statements made last week in court.

The attorney for Karl R. Heinrichs said Oct. 25 that a recommendation in a related Minnesota case calls for the 45-year-old to receive a combination of probation and jail.

The St. Croix County Circuit Court hearing was originally set for a plea and sentencing, but that was called off after defense attorney Eric Johnson announced a surprise development in the Minnesota case.

Johnson said a presentence investigation completed by a Minnesota corrections officer recommended Heinrichs be sentenced to probation and time in a Minnesota workhouse facility. The recommendation contrasted with a guideline prison sentence of 108 months, Johnson said.

St. Croix County Assistant District Attorney Karl Anderson, filling in for lead drug prosecutor Ed Minser, said the revelation was "a surprise" to all involved.

Since the original deal involved a concurrent sentence between both states, Anderson recommended Minser and Johnson return to the negotiating table — a proposal St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack accepted.

Heinrichs is charged in St. Croix County with one count of marijuana possession with intent to deliver, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 19 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Authorities allege Heinrichs — whose costumed alter-ego, Sir Death, has become a regular sight at Vikings games — also possessed another 40 pounds of pot during a Sept. 8, 2016, traffic stop in Stillwater on the same day as the storage facility discovery in Houlton.

Heinrichs' St. Croix County case is now set for a Nov. 9 plea hearing. He's scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 17 in Washington County on the Minnesota charges.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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