Copeland pleads guilty to assault, child endangerment

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Brandon Copeland

A Dickinson man pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges Thursday, including aggravated assault and conspiracy to endanger a child.

Brandon Copeland, 23, appeared in Stark County District Court before Judge Rhonda Ehlis facing 11 charges total.

Copeland pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, both Class C felonies.

On July 1, Copeland "knowingly caused bodily injury to another human being with a dangerous weapon" when he stabbed a man in the chest and abdominal area.

The victim's bowel was pierced in the attack, requiring immediate medical attention, Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Engelstad explained.


Copeland also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child endangerment, a Class C felony.

In his home, he and a partner in April exposed a child to methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia.

In the same case, he pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia, specifically a spoon and syringes. Both are Class A misdemeanors.

Charges of possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, both Class B misdemeanors, were dismissed.

Copeland also pleaded guilty to ingestion of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a Class A misdemeanor.

Copeland pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under suspension from May, a Class A misdemeanor, while another DUS charge from March was dismissed.

In North Dakota, the maximum sentence for a Class C felony is five years incarceration and/or a $10,000 fine.

For a Class A misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is 360 days in jail.


Copeland was sentenced to five years in the custody of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the felonies.

Two and a half years of the term was suspended for two years, during which he will be under supervised probation.

He will also receive 69 days credit for time served.

For the misdemeanor charges, Copeland received 360 days straight-time.

The sentences will be served concurrently.

Public Defender Jared Gietzen, representing Copeland, noted that the offenses, as charged, do not fall under North Dakota's 85% rule, which requires violent offenders to complete 85% of their sentence without the possibility of parole.

Ehlis warned Copeland that there would be consequences if he violated the terms of the plea agreement.

"You don't want to be revoked on these cases," she said. "If you come back before me, it's not going to go well for you. I have no time for people who endanger their children."

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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