TRF Man Sentenced For Felony Burglary
TRF Man Sentenced For Felony Burglary

James Frederick Copeland, 49, Thief River Falls, was sentenced for a felony charge of second-degree burglary and misdemeanor domestic assault.

A felony charge of first-degree criminal damage to property and a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault were dismissed.

For the burglary charge, Copeland was sentenced to 28 months in prison stayed for 10 years. He was ordered to serve supervised probation for 10 years. Copeland was ordered to have no contact with the victims. He was ordered to not enter the victims’ residence.

Copeland was ordered to complete a chemical assessment. He was ordered to successfully complete a Men’s Domestic Violence Program and follow through with any aftercare at his own expense.

Copeland was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition, or explosives for his lifetime unless his civil rights are restored. He was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines.

For the domestic assault charge, Copeland was ordered to serve 90 days in jail. He was given credit for 88 days served, and his jail time is considered to be served.

According to the complaint, Copeland assaulted a woman and a man on Oct. 29 at an apartment at 601 13th St. W. He kicked the woman at least twice in her right shoulder and upper right chest area. She suffered a large bruise on her right ankle, but it was unknown if that injury was a result of the assault or from a door falling on her.

The woman also reported that her back was hurt. She planned to go to the Emergency Room the following day. Two blood droplets were visible on her clothing, which was taken into evidence.

It was believed the blood belonged to Copeland. Copeland punched the man multiple times in his head and choked him, according to the complaint. Marks were visible on his neck. He also suffered scratches on his face and a swollen spot on his forehead.

The man said Copeland threatened to kill him. However, the incident stopped when the man said they were friends. Upon going to Copeland’s home, police observed numerous areas of blood on his body and clothing. His clothing was taken as evidence. Copeland had broken into the apartment occupied by the woman and man.

Five hours earlier, Copeland had argued with the woman with whom he has a relationship. He initially refused to leave. Later, she asked the man to sit with her at the apartment. Shortly before the incident, they heard someone knocking on the apartment door; however, they didn’t answer it. A short time later, someone knocked on the living room window. It then broke, and Copeland entered the apartment, running after the woman and kicking a bedroom door to gain entry.

The door landed on top of her. An officer, who knew about a previous incident involving the couple, observed an uneven mattress, blood on a blanket, and a door lying on the ground.

Copeland told police that he and the woman were having relationship issues. He said he went to the apartment to speak with her and became upset when he saw the man’s vehicle outside. Copeland admitted breaking the window with his arm and then crawling inside. He said he only wanted to talk to the woman and followed her to a bedroom, thinking she was the man.

Copeland denied assaulting the woman, saying he loves her. However, she pulled a taser on him. Copeland indicated that he planned to move into the apartment, but the woman had kicked him out. Copeland said he fought with the man after the man began assaulting him with a belt or belt buckle.

He initially told police that he had said nothing to the man; however, he later said he had yelled at the man. Copeland said the incident ended after the man said the two of them were friends.

The complaint indicated that Copeland had a blood alcohol content of 0.017. The woman told police that Copeland had been acting strange about five hours earlier. They got into a heated argument with him asking her whether she was involved with someone else. The woman suffered a panic attack and kept asking Copeland to leave.

He followed her out of the apartment, and she informed him that she would call the police since she has a restraining order filed against him. Copeland told her to call the police since the order hadn’t yet been served on him.

The woman continued to try to get Copeland to leave. However, he prevented her from closing a door and she grabbed a knife to protect herself. He picked up a chair and threatened to hit her. She dropped the knife and asked him to leave.

Two neighbors arrived, asking if things were OK. She said things weren’t OK. Copeland said he wanted to get his laundry and belongings out of the apartment.

The neighbors offered to help, even calling a taxi to give him a ride elsewhere. However, no one answered the phone.

Copeland eventually left and then returned about five hours later.