ST. PAUL — A Cass County judge Wednesday sentenced the man convicted in the October assault of Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Darcy Gagnon to four years, eight months behind bars and six years of probation.
Elijah Lee Knowles, 26, of Akeley, Minn., also was ordered to pay $2,492 in restitution.
Knowles was found guilty of second, third and fourth-degree assault, disarming a peace officer, driving while intoxicated, fleeing police and obstructing the legal process. The trial had been moved from Hubbard County to Cass County.
On Oct. 22, 2011, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Gagnon stopped Knowles on State Highway 34, just east of Park Rapids in Hubbard County. After performing field sobriety tests, including a preliminary breathe test, Gagnon attempted to place Knowles under arrest. As she attempted to handcuff the suspect, he resisted arrest and hit her several times on the head with the trooper’s Taser.
Knowles then put the Taser to Gagnon’s head and pulled the trigger, but the safety prevented the Taser from deploying. Knowles then attempted to take her sidearm, but was unable to access her gun. When Hubbard County deputies arrived on the scene, Knowles fled south on County Road 33 at speeds in excess of 110 mph. He was taken into custody after attempting to ram two squad cars and crashing his car near Highway 46 and 200th Street in Hubbard County. Gagnon missed two weeks of duty as a result of her injuries, however she has since returned to full duty as she continues to recover.
“ The sentence handed down by the court was necessary to hold Mr. Knowles accountable for this brutal attack on one of our troopers,” Col. Kevin Daly, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, said in an email release.