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Belcourt School Board member arrested on suspicion of terrorizing

Jeremy Laducer

MANDAN, N.D. -- A Belcourt School Board member was arrested this weekend at a Mandan hotel after allegedly saying he would kill a woman.

Jeremy Lee Laducer, 44, appeared Monday, Dec. 3, in Morton County District Court on a Class C felony count of terrorizing and a Class B misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. The former charge carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

Laducer, who first was elected to the Belcourt Public School Board in 2007, was arrested Saturday after a woman accused him of coming to her room at the Baymont Inn in Mandan, according to court documents. The woman told Laducer she wanted to be alone, but Laducer said, in part, “I’ll kill you,” “I’m not afraid to go back to jail” and “I’ll mess you up so bad before the cops even get here,” according to the charging documents.

Laducer also allegedly threw the woman’s phone across the room, court documents said. The woman eventually fled with her child, saying she feared for her life, court documents said.

The child also told police Laducer threatened to “tie a rope around (the woman’s) neck and drag her behind the truck” during a prior incident.

Laducer pleaded guilty in 1996 in Burleigh County District Court to a Class B misdemeanor of simple assault after a woman said he locked her in their apartment and beat her, but the victim recanted her statement, according to an article in the Bismarck Tribune. Laducer admitted to striking the woman, and she had “obvious injuries,” the article said, citing prosecutors.

Charges of felonious restraint and unauthorized use of a vehicle were dismissed after Laducer pleaded guilty, and he avoided jail time in the case.

Belcourt Public Schools Superintendent Lana DeCoteau confirmed Laducer was a school board member with the district but declined to comment on his arrest.

“It would be up to the public to remove a sitting elected board member through recall or petitioning the governor,” she said via email. “Under North Dakota law, there are very limited ways an elected official can be automatically vacated from office, one of which is a conviction of a felony while holding the office.”

Laducer previously served as the president of the board, according to his profile on the district’s website. He was re-elected in 2016.

Laducer is not the only board member with a criminal history. Douglas Delorme was convicted in 2007 in federal court of assaulting a Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa personnel director. He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, according to court documents.

He also pleaded guilty in 2003 to federal charges of embezzlement from the tribe, witness tampering and subornation of perjury. The offenses happened when he was a tribal council member, and he served a year in prison.

Delorme was re-elected in 2017.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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