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Dunn County judge rules Sherman car jacker’s statements admissible

Trial set for April

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A Dunn County judge has ruled that statements made by a 30-year-old Minneapolis man accused of taking a hostage in the Town of Sherman and stealing his car at knifepoint on April 27 are admissible.

Jonlee Goers appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court October 16 with his attorney, Stephen Muza.

Muza had filed a motion with the court to suppress statements Goers made to law enforcement officers before he had been given the Miranda Warning.

Goers is charged with five felonies: armed robbery, false imprisonment, operating a vehicle without consent and possessing a weapon, taking hostages, and taking and driving a vehicle without consent.

Goers allegedly went to a house in the Town of Sherman and ordered the homeowner at knifepoint to drive him to the Twin Cities.

During a preliminary hearing May 14, Steffen Demeter, the alleged hostage in the case, testified that Goers had ordered Demeter to drive him to the Twin Cities in Demeter’s car and did not want to use his own car because he thought the police would be looking for him.

Demeter said he convinced Goers they should buy gas for Goers’ car and pulled into the Kwik Trip off Exit 28 on Interstate-94 where Demeter was able to escape.

Demeter’s car, a 1992 Subaru Legacy, was eventually recovered from a corn field in Pierce County following a high-speed chase.

Several law enforcement officers testified at the October 16 hearing that Goers had made unsolicited statements about using methamphetamine before the officers had given him the Miranda Warning.

Dustin Giesness, a part-time deputy with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, said Goers had made statements about “staying away from meth” and “stupid messed up meth” and references to smoking meth with someone.

Giesness said he did not ask for the statements and that Goers had not yet been given the Miranda Warning.

Adam Olson, an officer with the Ellsworth Police Department, testified that Goers had abandoned the vehicle he was driving and fled on foot.

Olson used a taser to subdue Goers and then later on used his squad car to transport Goers between one and two miles from the edge of the field to the ambulance.

Olson said he did not ask Goers any questions but that Goers said, “I was not going to do meth, but I did, and I was not going to steal a car, but then I did meth.”

Muza asked if Olson had asked Goers any questions. When Olson said, “no,” Muza pointed out that Olson had asked Goers multiple times if he was all right.

Olson noted “it is my duty” to make sure suspects do not require medical care.

A St. Croix County supervisor requested an ambulance for Goers, Olson said.

Justin Johnson, a canine deputy with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, said he had pursued Goers with his canine partner.

Johnson said he had asked Goers if he wanted medical treatment, and Goers said no, not at that time, and then said he always “does stupid sh**t on meth” and that he had met a female with whom he had done meth.

Later on at the hospital, Goers initially refused to allow a blood draw but then consented and asked to have an attorney present.

Johnson said he told Goers he was not entitled to an attorney for an OWI blood draw.

Goers’ statements about methamphetamine use were not in response to any questions and were made voluntarily, argued Dunn County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maki.

Judge Rod Smeltzer ruled that Goers’ statements on meth use were voluntary and had not been elicited by questions from law enforcement officers.

Judge Smeltzer ordered that the statements could be used at trial.

Dennis Rhead, a deputy with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, corroborated that Goers did not make any statements after he had been given the Miranda Warning.

Judge Smeltzer scheduled a two-day trial in the Goers’ case for April 22 and 23 with a final pre-trial on April 12, 2013.

Goers remains in custody at the Dunn County jail on a $50,000 cash bond.