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.
The man’s defense lawyer said that he plans to challenge the statements his client made to law enforcement at his next court appearance. He has already filed a motion complaining that officers violated the man’s Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. If convicted for first-degree murder, the man would likely receive a life sentence. The criminal complaints provided to the court by investigators did not provide a motive for the crime.
Any charges of homicide or attempted homicide represent a serious matter for an individual. The representation of a lawyer might help someone make the choice between seeking a plea bargain or standing trial. The lawyer’s opinions about the strength of the evidence may inform a person about possible defense strategies.
Source: West Central Tribune, “Update: Willmar man indicted for premeditated murder, bail remains at $2M“, Linda Vanderwerf, Jan. 30, 2019