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Woman defies search warrant, fights with deputies

A welfare check on a woman who authorities had reason to believe was being exploited turned into a wrestling match with law enforcement and criminal charges against her caregiver.

Courtnay Elizabeth Montgomery, 51, of 1915 65th St. NE, appeared Tuesday in Olmsted County District Court, where she faces two counts of obstructing the legal process.

She's been released in lieu of $1,000 conditional bail; a plea hearing is set for Feb. 4.

The case began Oct. 27, when deputies attempted to execute a search warrant at Montgomery's home. The warrant was issued after authorities received information that Montgomery was manipulating an elderly woman, possibly preventing her from receiving adequate care.

The victim, who normally lives in Florida, had been kept in Minnesota by Montgomery, the criminal complaint says, and had missed doctor appointments in September and October.


The search warrant was requested to facilitate a face-to-face meeting with the woman to ensure her safety.

Deputies arrived at the home about 1 p.m.; although Montgomery wouldn't answer the door, contact was made by phone. She refused to unlock the door and cooperate with the warrant, court documents say, then hung up.

A few minutes later, Montgomery called deputies — who were still outside her home — and said the alleged victim's attorney was on his way, and that Montgomery was calling TV news. The officers continued to contact her without success.

About 1:30, deputies informed Montgomery they'd obtained the security code to the garage, and would be entering the home.

"If you come in, that's your business," Montgomery allegedly told them, "but I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to protect (victim) and me. You better call a (expletive) (unintelligible). You better call a (unintelligible)... If you enter without authorization, I will stand my ground. Do you hear what I'm saying?"

From past contacts, deputies knew Montgomery had firearms in the home, the complaint says, and interpreted her words as a threat to use deadly force against them. They continued to reason with her, and eventually got inside the home more than an hour after their arrival.

Montgomery said she wasn't armed, but told deputies there were loaded firearms in every room of the home.

Officers asked her to leave the room while they evaluated the alleged victim; Montgomery refused.


Investigator Dave Rikhus, who tracks potential cases of financial exploitation for Olmsted County, told Montgomery that if she didn't leave the room, she'd be arrested. Montgomery again refused, the reports say, and Rikhus told her she was under arrest. Montgomery refused multiple requests to stand up, the documents say, telling Rikhus any attempt to put his hands on her would result in a lawsuit.

Montgomery wrapped her arms around the armrest of the bench she was sitting on to prevent anyone from moving her, the complaint says, then "lunged her head toward Rikhus in an apparent attempt to bite him on the arm."

When her grasp came off the armrest, Montgomery went to the floor, screaming that her wrist hurt. She couldn't get off the floor, she said, because of health problems. Attempts to help her were reportedly met with resistance; specifically, she was lying on her back, kicking at deputies, thrashing and screaming, the reports say.

As she was escorted out of the home, Montgomery yelled to the woman not to answer any questions. It's unclear what the status of the alleged victim is.

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