Charges: Men used sword, knife, waterboarding to torture captives

Police found a victim running with his hands tied behind his back.
Publish date:
Edward W. Jenkins-Whitefeather (left), James Wittner (right)

Edward W. Jenkins-Whitefeather (left), James Wittner (right)

Two young men from northern Minnesota are facing multiple felony charges after allegedly kidnapping and torturing a man. 

According to court documents, authorities in Bemidji were alerted to a man in a mobile home park who was running with his hands zip-tied behind his back around 1:10 p.m. Friday, July 19. 

Police located the victim who had lacerations all over his body. The man told police that he'd been held captive since 5 a.m. that day and was physically beaten by two men at a residence in the Grass Lake Mobile Home Park. 

After being transported to a local emergency room, the victim said he and a female were at a mobile home following a trip to a movie theater when two men, identified as Anthony James Wittner, 23, of Cass Lake, and Edward W. Jenkins-Whitefeather Jr., 19, of Bemidji, grew angry and accused him of falsely representing himself as a member of the Gangster Disciple gang. 

The man told police that Jenkins-Whitefeather "used what appeared to be a metal sword" to strike the female victim, "cutting or chopping across both of her hands" resulting in severe injuries and what he believed to be several broken bones. She was also sliced across her abdomen, the man said, according to the criminal complaint. 

Jenkins-Whitefeather is then accused of using a "large kitchen knife" and the sword to stab and cut the male victim, who was being held at gunpoint by Wittner. 

The man's hands and feet were then "hog-tied" before the defendants waterboarded him for 20-30 minutes as they accused him of "poisoning an elder, sexually assaulting a fifteen-year-old female, and falsely representing himself as a gang member," the complaint says. 

The man was then forced into a closet for several hours before he was able to escape when Jenkins-Whitefeather left and Wittner "passed out." 

The woman was taken from the property by another female before being transported from a hospital in Bemidji to a hospital in Fargo because of the severity of her injuries. 

Police searched the mobile home and found a sword, large kitchen knife and semi-automatic handgun that matched the victim's description. 

In an interview, Wittner told a special agent that the plan was to take the male victim to the Red Lake Indians Reservation and kill him, adding that he agreed to help Jenkins-Whitefeather in exchange for $2,000 and an AK-47. 

Both men have been charged with two counts of 2nd-degree assault and one count of kidnapping with intent to terrorize and create great bodily harm. 

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