Bemidji man sentenced to eight years for malicious punishment of an infant

A 22-year-old Bemidji man was sentenced to eight years in prison for the malicious punishment of a child.

Levi Knutson pleaded guilty to the crime last March.

Court records state that in April 2020, Knutson maliciously punished a six-week-old infant with injuries including dozens of fractures in the baby’s arms and legs.

Levi Knutson, 22. Photo courtesy of the Beltrami County Jail.

Knutson admitted to investigators that he treated the baby like a “Stretch Armstrong doll.”

The 96-month sentence is an upward departure from sentencing guidelines, which would have been a four-year sentence.

Assistant Beltrami County Attorney Sara Westrum successfully filed the motion for the longer sentence.

Knutson has served 16 days in local custody and will serve the remainder of his sentence at the St. Cloud men’s prison.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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