Man claims innocence in A.L. home invasion

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

He allegedly kidnapped 2 children at gunpoint

A Rochester man claimed he was innocent Tuesday of charges he is facing in connection to an alleged home invasion in March in Albert Lea.

Jessie Lamar Crum, 35, is charged with first-degree burglary, aiding and abetting first-degree burglary, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm.

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His first appearance in Freeborn County District Court was Tuesday.

In arguing for reduced bail, Crum claimed he was innocent and said if released, he would get a job and not flee the state.

Jessie Crum

Jessie Crum

He requested a court-appointed lawyer.

Freeborn County Assistant Attorney David Walker argued conditional bail be set at $75,000.

District Court Judge Steven Schwab set unconditional bail at $100,000.

Court documents state officers were dispatched March 31 to Ruble Avenue on the report that a person had kidnapped two children at gunpoint.

Crum allegedly held a gun to the alleged victim’s abdomen and threatened him during the incident.

Another person who was at the scene identified a man as having held a gun to the side of the victim while threatening him.

Crum was arrested April 2 in Olmsted County on warrants and on probable cause tied to the case.

Benita Crum

Benita Crum

Court documents state he claimed in an interview with a detective that his sister, Belinda Crum, had asked him to come along with her to get her kids back. He claimed she went into the house and yelled for the children. He denied having a gun and pinning the alleged victim in the corner of the porch.

She allegedly struck a daughter of the alleged victim’s girlfriend in the chest and grabbed her arms. She reportedly scratched another daughter of the alleged victim’s girlfriend on the right arm, left hand and right rib area and punched her in the face.

Officers determined the father of the two children may have picked up the children from school in Rochester and brought them to Albert Lea. The children were reportedly living with Crum’s mother in Rochester.

Court documents from April state Crum said she had spoken with Rochester police who told her she could take her children back.

The children were later found and taken into protective custody.

Jessie Crum was convicted of two fifth-degree drug offenses in March 2014 and one in May 2010. He was convicted of third-degree assault in October 2007.

His next court appearance is June 2.

Benita Crum pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree burglary and two counts of fifth-degree assault last month.

A settlement conference for Benita Crum is scheduled for June 9, and a jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 13, if the case has not been resolved by then.

First-degree burglary carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine and second-degree assault carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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