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Algona man sentenced for Rolfe shooting

Joshua Schmidt

POCAHONTAS — An Algona man accused of shooting a short-barreled shotgun at another person in Rolfe will spend the next four years on probation after receiving a 10-year suspended prison sentence.

District Court Judge Christopher Polking handed down the sentence at the Pocahontas County Courthouse on Monday after defendant Joshua J. Schmidt pleaded guilty to going armed with intent, a Class D felony, and possession of a short-barreled shotgun, a Class D felony. Schmidt was also sentenced for a third offense after pleading guilty to escape from custody, a Class D felony.

For the two charges stemming from the shooting, Schmidt received two suspended five-year prison sentences. He must serve two years of probation for each, to be served concurrently. He will have to live in a residential correctional facility for 180 days. His $2,472.50 in fines were also suspended.

For his charge of escape from custody, Schmidt received a five-year suspended sentence and a $1,236.25 suspended fine. For his suspended sentence in this charge, Schmidt will have to serve two years of probation, to be served consecutively with his other sentences.

In September 2020, the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 102 Grant St. in Rolfe for a reported shooting at the residence.

The victim and witnesses identified the alleged shooter by clothing worn at the time as Schmidt, 18. On the evening of Sept. 12, the defendant shot one shell from a short-barreled, 20-gauge shotgun at the victim, but missed the target before fleeing on foot.

The victim was not injured.

Schmidt was taken into custody on Sept. 14 after an exhaustive search and booked into the Pocahontas County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond. He was originally charged with attempted murder, a Class B felony; going armed with intent; possession of a short-barreled shotgun; and assault while displaying or using a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor.

On Nov. 21, 2020, while being held at the Pocahontas County Jail, Schmidt and another inmate escaped the jail floor through the fire escape. Both inmates were located and arrested a short while later. For this offense, Schmidt was charged with escape from custody and conspiracy to commit non-forcible felony, a Class D felony.

In his sentencing order, Polking said he took into account the defendant’s criminal history, the circumstances surrounding the crime and other factors when determining the sentence.

Schmidt did not have a prior criminal history of violent offenses. The most serious of his previous charges was possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

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