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Emily Welker, Published December 19 2013

Man who ran over Fargo police officer sentenced to 12 years

FARGO – The Fargo man who ran over a city police officer here last month, and then was caught on tape telling his girlfriend in a jail phone call that he should have killed the man, was sentenced Thursday to 12 years.

Jack Michael Christensen, 49, pleaded guilty Thursday in Cass County District Court to Class B felony assaulting a peace officer, and to leaving the scene of an injury accident and aggravated assault, both Class C felonies.

Two other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal Christensen struck with prosecutors. He will receive credit for 45 days served.

Cass County prosecutor Tristan Van de Streek told the court that law enforcement officials agreed the 12-year straight-time sentence was appropriate for Christensen’s crimes.

Officer Brent Malone was trying to stop Christensen for questioning Nov. 4 at a local laundromat. Malone recognized Christensen’s vehicle as the one reported in connection with a stabbing in north Fargo on Nov. 3.

Nick Thornton, Christensen’s attorney, said Christensen had gotten into a fight with another man, stabbed him and fled.

When Malone approached the vehicle, Christensen stepped on the gas, hitting the officer and, Van de Streek said, knocking him unconscious.

Despite lingering nerve damage in his arm, Malone recently emailed Van de Streek to tell him to go ahead with the plea deal, Van de Streek said.

Christensen, who has a lengthy criminal history, was certified as a habitual offender by Judge Steven Marquart.

Thornton asked the court to consider that his client was in poor health, and that he had been on controlled substances at the time of the assaults. Christensen also has a history of traumatic brain injury, Thornton said.

“He recognizes how serious this incident was,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541