Canton man gets 12 years hard time for crime spree - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Canton man gets 12 years hard time for crime spree

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PRESTON, Minn. (KTTC) -- A judge in Fillmore County has sentenced Roger Bergmann, 39, of Canton to 12 years in state prison for a string of violent crimes last December 21. 

Bergmann will serve at least eight years hard time under the best of circumstances, according to his defense attorney Frederick Suhler, Jr.  With good behavior, it's possible for a third of a prison sentence to be served outside prison under supervision.

"It was a very unfortunate situation," said Suhler.  "Roger took ownership of what he did -- he was heavily using methamphetamine at the time.  Meth played a substantial part in his behavior.  He let the drugs get control, and became almost an alien presence."

On April 29, Bergmann pleaded guilty to attempted murder, assault, and drug charges in an agreement that contemplated a sentence of 120 months.  However, District Judge Robert Benson decided not to go along with the plea agreement and instead ordered Bergmann to serve 144 months, the maximum under the sentencing guidelines.

In a violent dispute last December 21, Bergmann shot a 49-year-old woman inside a home in Preston in front of a witness.  According to the criminal complaint, the witness was at the house to get money that Bergmann had owed him when Bergmann pulled out the gun and eventually struck the woman with it before shooting her in the neck.  Bergmann then fled the scene, eventually spotted by a Rushford police officer and chased into Winona County.  After barricading himself for a time, Bergmann eventually got out of his truck and surrendered to authorities.  When police searched his truck they found ammunition, crystal meth, and cash. 

The woman who was shot in the neck that day has since recovered, and appeared in court on Monday afternoon.

"The woman who was shot was his girlfriend, she asked the judge for leniency," said Suhler.  "This is one of those great tragedies." 

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