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Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog

Minnesota man charged with murder in girlfriend's death

A 35-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with murder in the second degree in connection with the November 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend. He was convicted of interfering with her body in February 2016 after admitting to police that he had moved her body to an undisclosed location. The man claimed that his girlfriend had taken her own life, but he refused to tell police where he had disposed of her body.

Prosecutors say that the homicide charge was the result of diligent police work and not a breakthrough. Detectives re-interviewed witnesses and examined text records that allegedly reveal that the couple were fighting at the time of her disappearance. One witness is said to have told detectives that she saw the man cleaning plastic sheets at a warehouse where he was once employed. Another allegedly said that he moved a box that looked heavy from the warehouse to a pickup truck that had been rented by his girlfriend.

Minnesota man accused of raping helpless woman

A 27-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for allegedly raping a mentally impaired woman while she lay helpless on his bathroom floor. Court records reveal that the man's bail has been set at $40,000 and he is being held at the Kandiyohi County Jail. The man made his first appearance before a judge on April 18 and was scheduled to appear in court again on April 29.

The woman, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, says that she became disorientated and fell in the man's bathroom after agreeing to join him in his apartment to drink beer. She says that she had been acquainted with the man for about a month when the alleged attack occurred on the evening of Jan. 18. The woman says that the man repeatedly made lewd gestures toward her while the pair drank beer before raping her after she became dizzy while visiting the bathroom.

Minnesota man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A 59-year-old Minnesota man who is accused of shooting a convenience store worker with a rifle has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree, assault resulting in bodily harm in the first degree and assault with a deadly weapon in the second degree. The charges stem from an incident that took place in a Renville County gas station and convenience store on the morning of Jan. 11.

According to media reports, the man entered the convenience store at about 8:00 a.m. and brandished a rifle. Prosecutors have not speculated about the possible motive for the alleged attack. A male employee suffered a gunshot wound to his hand and neck when he allegedly tried to wrestle the rifle from the man's grasp. While the wound is said to have seriously damaged the worker's hand, it did not prevent him from taking control of the rifle and using it to subdue the man. During the scuffle, the rifle's magazine was released revealing that it contained 11 live rounds.

Minnesota man accused of killing woman and starting fire

A fire in a second-level apartment appears to be an attempt to cover the killing of a woman in Thief River Falls. Authorities have charged a 23-year-old man with second-degree murder and first-degree arson after witnesses linked him to the scene. The criminal complaint against him described an apparent murder because a power cord was wrapped around the woman's neck, and fabric bound her hands and feet. The fire investigator made a preliminary determination that a combustible liquid had been used to start the fire.

The woman's grandmother said that she dropped her granddaughter off at the apartment to visit the man now charged in her death. The grandmother waited outside of the apartment for roughly an hour until she saw smoke. A tenant at the building told police that he had heard fighting in the upstairs apartment earlier in the day.

Feds file felony credit union fraud charge against former CEO

The president and CEO who once stood at the helm of the St. Francis Campus Credit Union in Little Falls has been formally charged with felony credit union fraud by federal prosecutors. Investigators maintain that she embezzled at least $2.5 million. The losses forced the Minnesota Department of Commerce to close the financial institution in February 2014 after the FBI began investigating the credit union.

The federal case against the former executive alleges that she engaged in fraud and embezzlement between June 2006 until she lost her job in January 2014. According to federal prosecutors, she shifted money from the credit union into accounts held by her and friends and relatives who apparently received a portion of the money. She also allegedly made fake loans for credit union members without their knowledge. These fraudulent loans then supplied funds that she allegedly used to hide fictitious deposits, buy checks or remove cash from the credit union.

Man sentenced for murder of girlfriend in Minnesota

An Indiana man has pleaded guilty to the murder of a woman in northern Minnesota. The man, who was the woman's boyfriend, will spend more than 16 years in prison based on the court's sentence that was given Feb. 25. By the time the case made it to court, the 41-year-old man opted to plead guilty to second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony crime.

The homicide occurred in 2018. An investigation began when the remains of the man's 28-year-old girlfriend were discovered in a shallow grave in July of 2018 in the northern part of Minnesota. The grave was discovered on a property owned by a member of the man's family located about 100 miles north of Duluth near Cook.

SEC accuses former Apple lawyer of insider trading

Minneapolis readers might be interested to know that the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a former attorney for Apple Inc. with insider trading. The charges were filed on Feb. 13 by the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

According to court filings, the defendant used his high-ranking position as corporate secretary at the California-based technology giant to trade stocks ahead of earnings reports. As a result of this insider information, he was allegedly able to earn a total of $382,000. One example of his illegal trading activities occurred when he sold around $10 million of Apple stock just before a July 2015 earnings report that caused the stock to dip by 4 percent. The move allegedly saved him $345,000. The trades were apparently made through brokerage firms TD Ameritrade and First Republic.

2 people charged in stabbing death of man left in Minnesota field

A grand jury in Kandiyohi County indicted a 35-year-old man from Willmar for the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man. The accused man awaits his next court date in jail under a $2 million bail bond now that he faces charges of first-degree premeditated murder, second-degree intentional murder and terroristic threats. Authorities also arrested a woman believed to have aided the alleged murderer. She faces multiple felony charges as his accomplice.

Court records indicated that surveillance video at the Jackpot Junction Casino placed the suspect and the victim together. The suspect supposedly admitted to law enforcement officers that he drove the victim away from the casino and then forced him out of the vehicle on a rural gravel road. He told officers that he chased the man and stabbed him to death. He then called the woman to the crime scene for a ride because his vehicle would not start.

Documentary details allegations against R. Kelly

Lifetime's new documentary "Surviving R. Kelly" has again put the singer on the defensive regarding long-standing allegations that he had sex with underage girls. The allegations against R. Kelly date back over 20 years to 1994, when news outlets reported that Kelly had married his 15-year-old protege. Although the marriage was quickly annulled, the questions surrounding Kelly and his behavior toward underage girls continued to dog him throughout his career and shock music fans in Minnesota.

In 2000, a newspaper reported that Kelly had been investigated for having sex with minors. However, the investigation ended when the girls involved refused to cooperate with the child sexual abuse investigation. Soon thereafter, Kelly enjoyed some of the biggest successes of his career, releasing his wildly successful album "TP-2.com" and performing his hit song "I Believe I Can Fly" during the opening ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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