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Former Sebeka councilman charged with kidnapping; allegedly spoke of murder-suicide

A former Sebeka city councilman has been charged with kidnapping and allegedly spoke openly about a murder-suicide plot.

Randy Lee Pickar, 53, was charged Tuesday, March 31 in Wadena County District Court with kidnapping -- no great bodily harm, and terroristic threats. He also faces a new charge of felony theft related to the swindle of Sebeka taxpayers through the sale of scrap metal for personal gain.

On March 5, the Wadena County Sheriff's Department received information from a woman who claimed that she was attempting to retrieve personal property Feb. 12 from a home she previously shared with Pickar. The woman said Pickar would not let her leave the home, which he had padlocked and shrink-wrapped to prevent her from leaving. She told authorities he also took her shoes to prevent her from going.

According to court documents, the woman said Pickar told her he had gotten some pills over the Internet and that a murder-suicide was something he was contemplating for her and him. The woman said he terrorized her and kept her locked up for three days, until Feb. 15, and also assaulted her during that time. She said Pickar told her he would keep her in the house "as long as he liked." She told authorities she was finally able to escape the home when another person visited the residence on Feb. 15.

The woman said she had filed for an order for protection from Pickar previously, and feared for her life and her children's.

Pickar also faces a fresh charge of theft -- take/use/transfer movable property with no consent. The same woman from the kidnapping charge told a sheriff's investigator that Pickar had taken scrap copper, manhole covers and other metals from a Sebeka street and sewer project and sold them in her name in St. Cloud, getting a receipt and check in her name, which he made her turn over to him. Pickar was already charged and sentenced for selling the city's scrap in his own name for personal profit, but the new charge was filed when the allegation came to light that he sold more materials than previously reported. When the woman asked Pickar whether she would get in trouble for being involved in the transaction, he allegedly asked her "who is going to check on [your] name?" court records said.

Pickar allegedly stole another $1,233.60 and funneled the money through the woman.

An initial court appearance was set on the theft charge for April 27.

Pickar has had several run-ins with the law in recent years, some while he was still a councilman. He was charged with disorderly conduct in April 2007 after a bar fight in Wadena County, theft in Hubbard County in January 2008, harassment in Wadena County in March 2008, and theft and theft by swindle in Wadena County in March 2008.

Pickar was elected to the Sebeka City Council in November 2006 and took office in January 2007. After the theft charges involving city property arose, he submitted a written resignation to the council, which was accepted April 8, 2008.

Pickar was taken into custody Thursday afternoon by Wadena County sheriff's deputies, Sheriff Mike Carr said Thursday night.