Itasca County Attorney’s Office
PRESS RELEASE
April 20, 2017

Itasca County Attorney John J. Muhar and Sheriff Victor J. Williams report that on April 15, 2017, an altercation between Mark Mehle, age 82, of Goodland, Minnesota, and Ed Allen Spawn, age 52, of Goodland, Minnesota, was called to the attention of the Itasca County Sheriffs Office by Ed Spawn. An Itasca County Deputy promptly responded to Spawn’s residence and interviewed him about the incident. After he completed interviewing Spawn, Deputy Cory Rondeau learned that Mark David Mehle had contacted Itasca County Dispatch to report the same incident from the Hibbing Hospital. Deputy Rondeau then promptly responded to the Hibbing Hospital and interviewed Mark Mehle, and his son, Kristopher Adam Mehle about the incident.

On April 19, 2017, the Itasca County Sheriffs Office submitted a case file to the Itasca County Attorney’s Office for review. Upon receipt of the investigative file, the Itasca County Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough, objective review of the evidence in the file. After completing review of the evidence in the file, the County Attorney’s Office has concluded that Mark David Mehle was the initial and primary aggressor throughout the altercation. Only after Spawn struck Mehle in the face in an attempt to defend himself, did Mehle cease his physical aggression toward Spawn. The County Attorney’s Office has concluded that Spawn did not act with intent to assault Mehle, but only in an effort to defend himself. As such, the County Attorney’s Office has concluded that Spawn has a legally viable claim of self-defense for his actions in punching Mehle in the face and that it would be inappropriate to bring criminal charges against Spawn for merely acting to defend himself. Accordingly, there will be no criminal charges filed against either party in connection with this incident. The Itasca County Attorney’s Office has communicated its findings to the Itasca County Sheriffs Office which agrees with the assessment of the case made by the Itasca County Attorney’s Office and supports their decision not to pursue criminal charges against either party involved in this matter.

The incident between Mehle and Spawn has recently been extensively discussed on the social media outlet, Facebook. The law enforcement investigation provides considerable additional information which was not available in the Facebook discussion.