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Former St. Olaf student to await trial in Vermont


In an April 26 hearing, Rice County District Judge Karie Anderson permitted former St. Olaf student Waylon Kurts to leave jail under newly amended conditions of release. Terms of Kurts’ release include bail set at $100,000, a GPS tracking device affixed to Kurts, and the removal of all firearms and other dangerous items, including fireworks, from Kurts’ residence. Kurts’ terms do not allow him to access any firearms during his release, and he may not step foot on a property with firearms, including gun dealers and shooting ranges. Kurts plans to return to his mother’s home in Vermont, according to his defense attorney, Paul W. Rogosheske, and his mother, who spoke in a previous hearing.

State prosecutors challenged Kurts’ release in a previous April 21 hearing, arguing that supervision of Kurts in Vermont would be insufficient due to a lack of cooperation by Vermont law enforcement and reports that a relative of Kurts had said he would not cooperate with any government supervision and would hide family firearms during a search. Judge Anderson requested an affidavit testifying to the location of all firearms previously in the family home and listing their current locations and supervising individual. In that hearing, Kurts’ mother Woden Teachout said the family home had contained “eight or nine” guns, but she said she did not know the specific number. An affidavit meeting Judge Anderson’s request was filed confidentially with the court prior to the April 26 hearing and is not available to the public.

Judge Anderson set an initial trial date of Aug. 15. In an email to campus, St. Olaf Director of Public Safety Derek Kruse confirmed that the campus expects Kurts to return to Vermont, and that Oles should prepare for the legal process “to take several months, possibly well over a year [. . .] to reach its final conclusion.”

In an email exchange with the Olaf Messenger, St. Olaf General Counsel Carl Lehmann ’91 added that the April 26 hearing “went about as we [St. Olaf] expected.” Lehmann reiterated that he expected Kurts to return to Vermont as indicated, but that the college will be on “active alert” with increased police patrol and will work to verify his departure from the state of Minnesota including through contact with police monitoring Kurts’ whereabouts.


Absent any further newsworthy developments, The Olaf Messenger’s coverage of Waylon Kurts’ trial will resume in the fall of 2023.

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