Man pleads guilty in cornfield manhuntA 22-year-old Fargo man who led authorities on an 11-hour manhunt in a cornfield near Argusville in September pleaded guilty to four felony charges Monday in Cass County District Court.
By: By Mike Nowatzki, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — A 22-year-old Fargo man who led authorities on an 11-hour manhunt in a cornfield near Argusville in September pleaded guilty to four felony charges Monday in Cass County District Court.
Dylan Thomas Pederson pleaded guilty to terrorizing, reckless endangerment, fleeing police and preventing arrest. All are Class C felonies carrying up to five years in prison.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors removed a two-year mandatory minimum sentence on the terrorizing charge, Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Younggren said.
Judge Steven McCullough ordered a pre-sentence investigation and psychological evaluation for Pederson. Defense attorney Monte Mertz said Pederson has a history of struggling with emotional and psychological issues.
Sentencing is tentatively set for March 5.
Pederson was driving on Interstate 29 with his girlfriend on the morning of Sept. 28 when he began weaving in and out of cones in a construction zone, threatening to kill the woman and himself, Younggren said.
Pederson asked his girlfriend to shoot him with his pellet gun, and he later told authorities he had shot himself in the stomach three times but none of the shots penetrated the skin, according to Younggren and court documents.
After the girlfriend got out of the car, Pederson led officers on a high-speed chase to County Road 81. Near Argusville, he drove off the road and back across all four lanes of traffic on I-29, crashing his car on the west side of interstate. He fled into a cornfield, triggering a roughly 11-hour search that involved two helicopters, an airplane and more than 50 people.