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Tree-girdler pleads guilty to lesser charge and is fined


This news story was published on December 13, 2015.
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MASON CITY – A Mason City man who faced a felony charge of criminal mischief after damaging trees owned by the city in front of his house has pled guilty to a lesser charge.

Robert Willemsen, age 63 of Mason City, was accused of “girdling” three trees located on the parking in front of his residence (between the sidewalk and the street) at 1025 Briarstone Drive before August 12, 2015. The three trees are city-owned and Willemsen is alleged to have girdled the 3 trees without permission or authority.

Girdling is a deep cut around entire trunk circumference, which effectively will kill the trees.

Cost to remove and replace the three trees is estimated around $1,650. Willemsen was cited and released on October 24, 2015 for Second Degree Criminal Mischief, a class “D” felony. Willemsen retained attorney Joseph Lapointe.

On December 8, Willemsen pled guilty to a charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was sentenced the next day to pay $1,575.00 in fines and court costs.

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3 Responses to Tree-girdler pleads guilty to lesser charge and is fined

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 15, 2015 at 2:39 am

    What was the final resolution of the “treegate” incident at the school?

    It appears Anita Marie Micich wants it to be forgotten and to go away.

  2. Avatar

    Environmentalist Reply Report comment

    December 13, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    This hog dog should have been locked away for life for killing these trees.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 13, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I think This is the most stupidest thing I have ever read or heard of for that matter! There has to be more to this story why not interview the guy.