A judge in Dakota County scheduled Dede Evavold’s criminal trial for March 23, 2020, on a criminal charge of violating a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) filed against her by Michael Brodkorb. Evavold was charged in May after she attempted to contact Brodkorb for assistance in restarting her blog after WordPress suspended it for violating their terms of service.
Evavold’s criminal trial was scheduled during a hearing today at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, Minnesota. An evidentiary hearing was also scheduled for February 28, 2020.
Brodkorb was granted an HRO against Evavold last year for her involvement in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.
Michael and Sarah Brodkorb filed the HROs in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Evavold, who lives in St. Cloud.
The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.
The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.
Evavold requested a court hearing to challenge the granting of the HRO, but a judge later upheld the HRO ruling that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.”
The HRO against Evavold remains in place until November 19, 2020.
Evavold is currently on probation related to her criminal conviction in September 2016 of six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. A conviction in this criminal case would likely trigger a probation violation and jail time for Evavold.
Accompanying Evavold to the courthouse again was Margaret Starry, who is a supporter of Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Before the hearing started, Starry was seen taking pictures of Brodkorb as he waited by the courtroom door. Evavold was overheard saying to Starry, “did you take a picture?” to which Starry responded, “yes.”
Court deputies and staff at the courthouse were made aware of the pictures that were taken near the courtroom. If and when the pictures appear online, follow-up steps will be taken by law enforcement.
Court grants 50-year restraining order against Dede Evavold
In September, a judge in Dakota County granted a 50-year extension on the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold.
The HRO against Evavold remains in effect until September 9, 2069.
Evavold was convicted in September 2016 of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of Samantha Rucki and her sister Gianna, who were abducted near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, during a custody and divorce proceeding.
After being released from jail, Evavold repeatedly violated the explicit terms of her probation and the HRO by continuing to reference the Rucki family in her use of social media. Evavold’s blog posted pictures of the Rucki family, their home in Lakeville, and the address to the home, in violation of the HRO and the conditions of her probation.
On July 28, 2017, a court in Dakota County has found that “an immediate and present danger of harassment” by Evavold exists to warrant the granting of a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Evavold.
In March 2018, a warrant was issued today for the arrest of Evavold after she ignored a previous court order which ordered Evavold to “remove ALL blogs/postings, social media postings, or internet postings” about David Rucki, his children, and other members of the Rucki family which violated the HRO.
Evavold was arrested days later while hiding inside her home. She was later released from jail to remove the remaining online material which violates the HRO.
In July 2018, a judge in Dakota County has upheld the Harassment Restraining Order requested by David Rucki and his daughter, Samantha Rucki, against Dede Evavold, describing Evavold’s threatening behavior toward the Rucki family as “evil.”
“In the 34+ years the undersigned has served as a District or Senior Judge, never have I seen a case that represents harassment most evil,” wrote Judge Philip Kanning in his order released yesterday. “The Respondent’s actions have been intended to terrify, threaten and invade the privacy of the Petitioner and his minor children,” adding Judge Kanning. Evavold appealed the order from Judge Kanning last July.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Kanning’s order in July 2019, determining “that the HRO restrains unprotected speech.”
The harassment by Evavold and others is detailed in the award-winning true crime book The Girls Are Gone, which was written by Brodkorb and Allison Mann.