Woman allegedly aided 2 offenders

FAIRMONT — A 34-year-old Fairmont woman is facing felony charges in Martin County.

Deanna Mae Nielsen has been charged with two counts of aiding an offender to avoid arrest, each of which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On Jan. 17, Fairmont police officers were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at a residence in Fairmont. A man and a woman had stabbed and strangled a victim before fleeing the scene, after which they could not be found. Arrest warrants were issued for the pair.

On Feb. 1, Fairmont police officers were advised that the man had just been at Casey’s gas station in Fairmont with other people. One of those people acknowledged they had dropped the man off at a residence in the 400 block of North Elm Street in Fairmont. Officer were advised that Nielsen lived at that residence.

An officer knocked on the front door of the residence and spoke to the owner, advising her that they were there to talk to Nielsen. The owner said Nielsen was not there, and the officer asked if the male was at the residence. The owner stated, “I don’t know.”

The officer advised the owner to have the man come out of the residence. The officer observed the man standing at the top of the stairs, and he was placed under arrest. Officers then asked the owner who else was at the house, and the owner stated, “Just a friend.”

The woman then appeared at the top of the stairs, and was also placed under arrest. She was later interviewed at the Martin County Law Enforcement Center. During the interview, she said she and the man had been staying at the residence.

The officer asked who else was living there, and the woman named Nielsen as another resident. When asked if Nielsen knew that she had warrants for her arrest, the woman replied that she had told Nielsen she had warrants and was on the run. She stated she told Nielsen she was looking for a place to hide out and lay low.

The woman further stated she had told Nielsen that she was on the run because she failed to check in with her probation officer.

As a police officer was walking back to his squad car from the residence on North Elm Street, he was flagged down by a driver who was driving Nielsen. Inside the vehicle, Nielsen was holding a copy of a newspaper and stated she just found out that the man and woman were wanted and that they had been staying at her home. Nielsen was then placed under arrest.

She was interviewed at the Martin County Law Enforcement Center, where she was read her rights and agreed to answer questions. She stated the pair had been living at her residence for about one week and that she had no knowledge of them having warrants for their arrest. She said there had been an article in the paper, and she had come straight to the house within minutes of reading the article.

Nielsen also said she had just found out before the officers got there, and indicated she knew the pair for a while prior to them staying there.

Nielsen is on probation with the Minnesota Department of Corrections and is required by her probation agent to advise who is staying with her in her residence.

An agent with the department indicated they had asked Nielsen on Jan. 31 who was staying at the residence with her, and she did not indicate the man and woman were also living at the residence.