Former Rochester Man Admits to First-Degree Arson Charge
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A former Rochester man decided to enter into a plea agreement to settle a list of charges connected to a violent domestic incident just two weeks after an Olmsted County judge ruled he was competent to stand trial.
52-year-old Michael Drury, who now has a Pine Island address, today pleaded guilty to a first-degree arson charge using a Norgaard plea. That means he admits to the crime but does not remember his actions due to impairment by drugs or alcohol. In exchange for the guilty plea, the Olmsted County Attorney's Office has agreed to drop kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, burglary, and terroristic threats charges that were brought against her Drury following his arrest last October.
He was accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend from a home in Rochester and forcing her to drive to Pine Island. It was also alleged that he punched the 44-year-old woman in the head while she was driving.
The criminal complaint indicates the woman also told investigators that Drury threatened to kill her and "chop her up into little pieces." He was also accused of threatening to kill anyone else he found in her residence before she managed to escape and called 911.
The court record says Drury was inside the woman's townhome when Goodhue County deputies arrived at the scene. He has now admitted starting a fire inside the residence before he came outside and encountered a deputy, who tasered Drury when he attempted to run back into the burning townhome.
According to the police reports filed after the incident, the damage caused by the fire was severe and the townhome was declared a total loss.
A sentencing hearing for Drury has yet to be scheduled. The plea agreement indicates prosecutors will request a four-year prison sentence, while Drury's defense attorney will argue for probation.