A homicide in Milltown
Scott Youngmark - Photo by Greg Marsten
Woman, 47, found dead of blunt force trauma; suspect in custody awaiting charges
by Greg Marsten
Leader staff writer
MILLTOWN – A Milltown woman, Kari G. Roberts, 47, was the victim of an apparent homicide on Saturday, Dec. 1, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department, who have a person of interest in custody, as they prepare and assemble evidence awaiting likely charges against Scott A. Youngmark, 45, Milltown.
According to Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson, an unidentified male called 911 at about 1:21 a.m. Saturday to an apartment at 63 East Main St. in Milltown, for the report of a woman who needed medical assistance. The caller failed to answer returned calls.
When police arrived at the noted address, they did not get a response and could not see anyone into the apartment. They forced entry into the residence and discovered Roberts deceased. An autopsy later confirmed her cause of death to be due to blunt force trauma.
Roberts was sharing an apartment with Youngmark at the time of her death, and police later traced the anonymous 911 call to a nearby Milltown apartment, where Youngmark's mother resides. They also discovered him at that location.
Upon questioning, Youngmark eventually admitted to making the 911 call, but denied any involvement with Roberts' death. However, investigators noted several apparent inconsistencies with his story and alibi, while also noting that he appeared intoxicated, which was a violation of several felony bail jumping cases he has pending. A portable breath test confirmed alcohol, which led to Youngmark's subsequent arrest.
Authorities have released few details on the homicide, but continue to hold Youngmark on the bond violations as the investigation continues. He appeared in court before Judge Jeffery Anderson on Monday, Dec. 3, where Polk County District Attorney Dan Steffen noted the suspect's extensive history of bail jumping, as well as the gravity of several cases he is awaiting resolution of and sentencing for in January.
"(Youngmark) is also a person of interest in a homicide case from Milltown over the weekend," Steffen confirmed, adding that he considered Youngmark "a flight risk, suicidal threat and also a threat to the public."
Anderson referenced the gravity of his open cases and multiple bond violations, while also noting that he could only hold him on charges that were before him and not on speculative (homicide) charges. He upheld a previous $10,000 cash bond, while also alluding to his history.
"There have been a number of chances for Mr. Youngmark to remain law abiding ... which he has failed," Anderson said.
Youngmark is scheduled to have a full hearing on the three alleged bond violations shortly after press time on Wednesday, Dec. 5. It is possible that charges relating to the Roberts’ homicide may also be presented at that time.
"It's not a criminal complaint you want to just throw together," Johnson said to queries on why charges were still pending, adding that he "fully expects" charges to be leveled against Youngmark by midweek.
Youngmark's criminal history
There has been much comment and speculation on Scott Youngmark's extensive criminal history, which was even the subject of a case-study feature article involving repeat offenders in a 2009 journal on court monitoring by the organization WatchMN and their publication, "Watchpost."
In the spring 2009 volume, author Sarah Coulter details Youngmark's troubled and violent history, which goes all the way back to when he was a teen. The Coulter article chronicled fully 39 cases and violent allegations against Youngmark, almost all of which occurred in Minnesota and includes allegations that he "... assaulted and threatened at least 18 people, and in almost half the cases, he was never charged with a crime. When Youngmark was arrested or charged, he threatened the victims not to cooperate with law enforcement or prosecutors, a strategy that worked to his advantage, and led to nine cases being completely dismissed for 'lack of evidence.'"
The article also mentions over a quarter century of criminal and violent allegations that includes arson, terroristic threats, burglary, sexual assault, multiple felony charges, bond violations, protection order violations, physical assault of at least five intimate partners, and even assaults and threats of his own family members.
One of those cases in 1986 even involved the sexual assault of an older female family member, of which he was never convicted, due to the victim's refusal to press charges against Youngmark, who was a teen at the time. That is a common theme in Youngmark's history, as he has a rap sheet that now totals over 70 charges with his latest Wisconsin cases, which occurred as recently as last month.
Details on the case(s) against Youngmark will be updated on the Leader Web site in the coming days, as they become available.