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Starbuck man found guilty after jury trial

MORRIS, Minn. - Jeffrey Noel Kleven of Starbuck, Minn. was found guilty of two counts of gross misdemeanor third degree DWI by a six-person jury on Thursday after a one-day trial, Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan reported.

As a result, Kleven was sentenced to 120 days, staying all by 30, fined $750 plus fees and surcharges and placed on probation.

During the trial, witnesses heard testimony from five witnesses for the state and two witnesses for the defendant in regards to incidents that took place on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2011. According to reports from the trial, two witnesses saw Kleven's motorcycle tipped over at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 5th Street in Morris. One witness went to assist and found Kleven in the street with his leg pinned under the motorcycle. The witness helped free Mr. Kleven and helped him push the motorcycle to the Family Dollar parking lot.

Witnesses had observed Kleven drinking and acting drunk at the Chokio Street dance. The same witnesses saw Kleven with his motorcycle tipped on top of him in Morris. They called 911 when it appeared that Kleven intended on driving away even after he tipped his bike, the report states.

Two officers from the Morris Police Department responded immediately to a call from dispatch that callers had reported that Kleven was drunk, had tipped his bike and was walking toward the alleyway behind Common Cup and Radioshack. Officers arrived and made contact with Kleven while the caller was still on line with the 911 dispatch operator.

Kleven initially denied driving his motorcycle and tipping it, but later admitted to the officers that he had tipped his bike after engaging both brakes simultaneously in order to avoid a collision with a vehicle in front of him.

The result of the intoxilyzer test on Kleven was a blood alcohol concentration of .15, nearly twice the legal limit., the report notes. Kleven's offense was enhanced to a gross misdemeanor due to a prior DWI conviction in 2004.

Judge Gerald J. Seibel presided over the trial. The Morris Police Department led the investigation and was assisted by the Stevens County Sheriff's Office.