A Burnsville man accused of threatening his stepfather and half-sister has been acquitted of felony-level domestic abuse charges but has yet to regain his freedom.
As of Christmas Day, 35-year-old Troy Blaine Almhjeld remained in custody at the Dakota County Jail on a $75,000 bond.
After an incident in September, Almhjeld was charged with two counts of felony domestic assault, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. , Almhjeld got into a confrontation with his step-father and half-sister after a night out drinking. The alleged victims claimed that Almhjeld became so belligerent and threatening that they feared for their safety.
Almhjeld pleaded not guilty to the charges on Oct. 2, 2012. The case went to a court trial on Nov. 15. Eleven days later, the judge turned over a disposition in his favor.
Judge Michael Sovis ruled that the state had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Almhjeld had acted "with intent to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death," though the defendant had said "some fighting words."
Almhjeld was instead convicted of disorderly conduct, a much lesser charge. Sovis will review the case next week, on Jan. 2, 2013.
Almhjeld has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions in 2000 for fifth-degree assault and interfering with a 911 call; domestic abuse in 2009; domestic assault in 2010; felony domestic assault in 2011, for which he was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years’ probation; and, last April, fourth-degree assault of a peace officer by throwing bodily fluids or feces, a felony conviction for which he served 43 days in jail and was placed on three years’ probation.