Probation for one, a not guilty plea for another for September assault

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– A 24-year-old Bemidji man was sentenced to five years of probation for third degree assault that left a victim with a fractured skull and a broken neck.

Sean Alan Sills appeared in court yesterday, and must also follow numerous conditions such as no controlled substance use and no possession of firearms.

Witnesses said five males were surrounding the victim on the ground on the 400 block of Central Avenue Southeast last September, and Sills told investigators that he punched the victim six times in the face in rapid succession.

Another man believed to be involved with the incident, 36-year-old James Michael Penn of Bemidji, pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting assault in court yesterday.

Penn makes his next court appearance May 13. 


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 events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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