One home invasion suspect pleads not guiltyPublished 11:00am Tuesday, February 11, 2014
One of the three men charged in a Fergus Falls home invasion on Thanksgiving appeared in Otter Tail County District Court Monday afternoon.
Daniel Cassman, 32, of Elbow Lake, pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling.
Also charged in the case are Jeremy Wade Wark, 33, and Terry Allen Stewart, 35, both of Fergus Falls. Stewart pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 28.5 months in prison for the substitute charge of one felony count of first-degree attempted burglary of an occupied dwelling.
The victim received a phone call on the afternoon of Nov. 27, with Cassman in the background demanding his final paycheck and his tools, which the victim said would be ready by Friday, the report says.
Fergus Falls police officers responded to a burglary report at 4:30 a.m. Nov. 28 in the 3900 block of Pebble Shores Circle, according to the criminal complaint.
The male resident heard a knock at the doors at about 4 a.m.; Cassman, an employee of the resident, was standing on the front porch without a shirt on, the report says.
As the resident reportedly opened the door to ask Cassman what he was doing, the three men allegedly rushed inside and pushed the resident back into the house as he tried to slam the door.
Stewart, who reportedly wore a ski mask, allegedly put the victim up against the wall with his hand around the man’s throat.
The other two men went through the house, and the situation became loud and violent, the victim reportedly told authorities.
A woman in the residence reportedly started screaming, which woke three children in the home.
As they came into the hallway, a surprised Stewart reportedly said,” There’s kids here?”
Cassman reportedly said, “It wasn’t supposed to go down like this,” when he saw the children.
Stewart and Wark took the victim outside and then all three ran. They were later arrested.
Cassman later told authorities that he, Wark and Stewart were out driving when he pointed out the victim’s truck in front of the residence.
Stewart reportedly pulled in front of the residence, grabbed a mask and got out of the truck.
The next court appearance for Cassman is scheduled for April 10. Wark’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 20.