After her 4th failure to appear in court, an Owatonna woman was arrested December 26th. With conditional bail set at $75,000, 33 year old Jennifer Dawn Marx is in the Rice County jail. A settlement hearing was held this morning on a 1st degree Arson charge stemming from an incident in August of 2016. She’s accused of setting a fire at a home near Fox Lake in Forest Township that killed her boyfriends dog. The fire started in a basement bedroom where Marx and the homeowners adult son were believed to be sleeping. The son had left the home to sleep elsewhere. Marx told law
enforcement that she went out the window to get help. However, 911 wasn’t called until nearly 2 hours after the fire reportedly started. The family’s teenage son was awakened by smoke and alerted his parents. The mother tried to get into the locked bedroom, throwing herself at the door but couldn’t’ open it. Unable to get in touch with him by phone, she thought he had died. Marx later told a friend that she deliberately started the fire to get back at her boyfriend and kill his dog. The body of the dog, Kane, was found in a locked closet. Marx is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Rice County Attorney John Fossum said the court set a hearing on today’s motion for March 1st.
Defense wants evidence suppressed in Carfentanil case
Joshua Tarka of Northfield spent his 23rd birthday in jail last week where he’s been since late February. He’s charged in a case where 3 Northfielders nearly died after taking oxycodone pills laced with carfentanil. According to the Northfield News, his attorney is claiming a traffic stop leading to his arrest was improperly conducted and evidence from the stop should be suppressed. Tarka was charged with seven felonies including three counts of distributing a substance that caused great bodily harm. The Defense is arguing that the officer who pulled over Tarka and seized evidence from him had “no basis in knowledge of criminal activity by the defendant to justify the seizure of the defendant”. Originally they called for Judge Cajacob to suppress evidence at a June 8 hearing, but they did not subpoena the officer, Thad Monroe, who searched Tarka and arrested him. Cajacob agreed to reopen the hearing and gave both sides until Dec. 21 to submit briefs arguing for and against the suppression of evidence. Cajacob has until January 20th to render his decision. Rice County Attorney John Fossum told KYMN that “the defense can allege that evidence was unconstitutionally obtained, it then becomes our obligation to prove that the search or seizure was lawful, and if the court agrees then the evidence can be used at trial. The parties argue about it normally because the evidence in question is important to prove the state’s case”.
NDDC gets grant for Art
The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation was awarded a $30,000 grant through the Artists on Main Street initiative. According to the press release, the purpose is to develop a model for community development at the intersection of arts and culture, downtown revitalization and historic preservation. NDDC Executive Director Jenni Roney said the program will “provide art and creative placemaking experiences that draw people to shop, dine and connect in Downtown Northfield”. The idea is to use local artists to improve diversity and inclusiveness across cultures. Full Press Release: ArtistsOnMainStreetRelease (1)