A 28-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with two counts of murder in the second degree in connection with the death of his brother. The Fergus Falls resident faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say that they plan to seek an aggravated sentence in the case because the victim was treated with particular cruelty. The man is now being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center. Initial police reports do not provide any indication of why he may have killed his 19-year-old brother.

Police in Polk County were dispatched to the intersection of North Mark Avenue and Eighth Street at approximately 3:44 a.m. after local residents had called to report an altercation. One caller reported seeing an individual attempting to break into a home and another said that a man was throwing items at an unconscious person on the ground. When police arrived at the scene, they found an unresponsive man lying by the curb and another man standing in the roadway with blood on his arms and clothing.

Police tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the unresponsive man. He was pronounced dead a short time later by paramedics. An autopsy revealed his cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head. Police believe that a landscaping block found at the scene could have been the murder weapon.

District attorneys work under great pressure, and this is particularly true when they are prosecuting homicide cases. This is why they are often willing to settle these matters even when their evidence seems strong. A criminal defense attorney could seek a negotiated plea agreement for the defendant when police appear to have built a solid case.