Man pleads not guilty to Clarks Grove burglary

Published 11:13 am Friday, February 12, 2016

A Clarks Grove man pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in Freeborn County District Court to breaking into a residence last month while armed with a baseball bat.

Shawn Steven Dufrene, 24, entered the plea to three counts of first-degree burglary in front of Freeborn County District Court Judge Steven Schwab.

Dufrene was charged after a deputy with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a reported residential break-in at 10:45 p.m. Jan. 30 in Clarks Grove.

Shawn Dufrene

Shawn Dufrene

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According to court documents, upon arrival, a deputy reportedly spoke with the alleged victim who reported that he had been upstairs in the home when he heard a loud crash downstairs.

The alleged victim reportedly turned on a light in the entryway, and at the entry door he reportedly saw Dufrene, who was reportedly holding a baseball bat and wearing a black, hooded top and blue jeans.

According to court documents, Dufrene had his hand inside the residence and was attempting to unlock the door.

Dufrene reportedly swore at and threatened the alleged victim. The alleged victim reportedly picked up a device used to prop the door shut and swung it at Dufrene, who then reportedly left the scene running toward a nearby alley. The alleged victim reportedly observed a second, smaller person run away with Dufrene, according to court documents.

The alleged victim said he identified Dufrene because he had gone to school with him and known him for three or four years. The alleged victim said he had been standing approximately two to three feet from Dufrene when he was at the door and could clearly see his face and recognized his voice.

A deputy reportedly observed glass that was broken out of the entry door of the residence, and noted broken glass on the ground and stairs at the entry.

The alleged victim also showed the deputy a broken window on the back of the house, and footprints were found from the broken back window toward the alley.

The deputy reportedly found the wooden baseball bat approximately 10 feet from the residence.

Dufrene was reportedly found at his grandparent’s home in Clarks Grove wearing a black, hooded jacket. The alleged second burglar, who hasn’t been arrested or charged in connection with the alleged incident, was also reportedly found at the home.

Both reportedly claimed they had been home all night and didn’t know anything about the burglary.

In a statement at the Freeborn County jail, Dufrene again claimed he had been at his grandparents’ home all night.

Dufrene is next slated to appear in a settlement conference April 13. A jury trial is scheduled for July 12.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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