Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Stiffest sentences yet handed down in Kycia case

Three men facing felony charges in connection with Patrick Kycia's death pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor charges Thursday in Clay County District Court.

Three men facing felony charges in connection with Patrick Kycia's death pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor charges Thursday in Clay County District Court.

Jesse Alan Bridley, 20, Christopher Michael Sayre, 21, and Marcus Osmond Carney, 22, all appeared in court in Moorhead.

Bridley pleaded guilty before Judge Michael Kirk to procuring alcohol for a person under 21 years old. Under a plea agreement, a felony charge of liquor sales to a minor resulting in death or great bodily harm and a gross misdemeanor charge of selling alcohol without a license were dismissed.

Sayre pleaded guilty before Judge John Pearson to the same gross misdemeanor charge as Bridley and the same two other charges were dismissed.

Carney also pleaded guilty before Pearson to the gross misdemeanor procuring alcohol charge and the other two charges were dismissed.


Bridley and Sayre received the same sentence: 365 days in jail with credit for time served (three days for Bridley and two days for Sayre) and the rest stayed; a $1,000 fine; and 100 hours of community service.

Those two received the stiffest penalties yet handed down in the case because they were accused of organizing the Sept. 22 party.

Pearson stayed imposition of Carney's sentence, put him on 180 days of unsupervised probation and imposed a $1,000 fine. Carney testified at the hearing that he gave one can of beer to a 19-year-old woman at the party.

All three denied either knowing or seeing Kycia Sept. 22 or 23.

The charges to which all pleaded guilty Thursday stemmed from a party held Sept. 22 at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house in Moorhead.

Kycia, 20, a Minnesota State University Moorhead student, was reported missing early Sept. 23 after attending the party. His body was pulled from the Red River four days later. An autopsy found that he had drowned and had a blood alcohol of .17 percent.

County Attorney Lisa Borgen charged seven people with felonies, accusing them of giving Kycia alcohol that eventually led to him drowning in the Red River. It was the first time such a felony charge had been filed in Clay County since the law was passed in 1999.

Two others were charged only with gross misdemeanors.


Borgen relayed a statement from Julian Kycia, the dead man's father, at all three sentencing hearings Thursday. Through Borgen, Julian Kycia said he hoped the sentences would not ruin the men's lives but would teach them an important lesson.

Kirk asked Bridley, "Have you taken away some life lessons?"

"Yes," Bridley replied.

"What have you taken away?" Kirk asked.

"That bad things can happen with underage parties," Bridley said.

He suggested that Bridley's community service be served at detox to show him the effects of excessive drinking.

In his courtroom, Pearson advised the defendants to "benefit from any mistakes that you make."

Thursday's court proceedings leave only three cases left to complete: the two gross misdemeanors and the final felony case against Nicholas Gulmon, 25.


Gulmon faces the felony charge because he is accused of being the third organizer of the party. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Pantera at (701) 241-5541

What To Read Next
Get Local