Widmyer

WEBSTER— A Webster man faces seven years in prison and five years extended supervision in a case that began over 13 months ago. 

Jacob T. Widmyer, now 27, was taken into custody in April 2016 at the Webster home of his grandmother with whom he was living at the time. 

Widmyer was reported to have beaten his grandmother after she refused to grant him cash that he demanded. According to the complaint, his grandmother attempted to call the police but Widmyer grabbed the phone and began to beat her, causing several injuries including shattered eye sockets and lacerations on multiple parts of her body. 

Upon arrival, deputies discovered a 65-year-old female who had been severely beaten. Deputies were able to rescue the victim from the residence by helping her escape through a window. She was taken by ambulance to an area hospital, then airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital for treatment of serious injuries. 

Widmyer had barricaded himself in a bedroom and refused to cooperate with officials. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team was called for assistance. Team members removed Widmyer from the house after continued attempts to get him to surrender had failed.

Widmyer was drunk and high at the time with one substance reported as psilocybin mushrooms. Widmyer was arrested in the past for drug use and disorderly conduct. 

Stemming from the April 2016 incident, Widmyer faced several charges: first degree intentional homicide, aggravated battery-intend great bodily harm, strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, possess drug paraphernalia, possess amphetamine/LSD/psilocin, resisting or obstructing an officer. 

All charges were dismissed and read in except for aggravated battery which was amended by the court to read “crime against an elderly or disabled person.” 

During the sentencing hearing, Widmyer’s grandmother gave a victim impact statement in which she explained that she was diagnosed with several anxiety issues, depression and PTSD stemming from the incident. She also stated, “I can’t say I don’t miss you, because I do. I miss the Jacob who was loving and caring; the Jacob who was not drinking and taking drugs.” 

Widmyer’s attorney, Nathan Cockerham, expressed to the court while Widmyer has 11 prior convictions, all drug related, he does not have a history of violence. 

He said that if drugs were taken out of the equation, Widmyer would be a different person and he described Widmyer’s upbringing as ‘ugly.’ This is due to the defendant reportedly having been sexually abused and witness to violent attacks on family members. It is reported that Widmyer was exposed to drugs and alcohol as early as 11 years old. 

Cockerham concluded by saying Widmyer was “not on equal footing.” 

After further deliberation, Judge Kutz explained that while he feels Widmyer “had no chance” from the beginning, the nature of the crime requires a multi-year prison sentence. 

Widmyer will be confined in state prison for seven years with a 415-day credit due to being in Burnett County Jail custody since the night of the crime. Due to the category of the crime, there is no chance of earned release.

Upon release, he will be placed on five years extended supervision and required to obtain a GED, full-time employment and undergo a chemical dependency assessment. 

In addition, Widmyer is ordered to undergo mental health evaluations and follow through with recommendations and participate in the Restorative Justice program. Restitution is set at $3,494.53.