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Former Watson Mayor Pleads Guilty to Threats of Violence

The former Mayor of Watson who became the focus of a statewide investigation after posting threats against students on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota in January has pleaded guilty to one count of felony threats of violence.

Forty-two-year-old Joseph Mark Rongstad of Watson made a virtual court appearance at a plea hearing Friday to offer his guilty plea. A jury trial had been set to begin July 8 in Chippewa County District Court.

According to the plea petition, Rongstad requested he be given time at his upcoming sentencing hearing to explain why he made the threats.

Attorneys also agreed to a joint recommendation for a 21-month prison sentence.

Sentencing is scheduled in August.