Teen pleads guilty in grandmother's murder, sentenced to life
By Tom Cherveny
Forum News Service
WILLMAR, Minn. - A Willmar teen pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Wednesday morning in the stabbing death of his grandmother in July 2013.
Lila Warwick, 79, was found dead in the basement of her Willmar home last July. She had been stabbed and strangled.
Authorities have said that they considered Robert Warwick, 18, to be the mastermind behind the murder, which was intended to steal money from Lila Warwick.
Robert Warwick pleaded guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court in Willmar to first-degree murder while committing a burglary. District Judge David Mennis sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Robert Warwick admitted on the stand that he could have reasonably foreseen that his grandmother would be killed when his friend Brok Junkermeier entered her home with a large knife that morning. He said the intent was to steal her money and have her write a check to them.
Defense attorney Daniel Mohs said that Warwick has always maintained there was no intent to kill her.
In a victim impact statement, Cheri Ekbom, who is Lila Warwick’s daughter and Robert Warwick’s aunt, chastised him for not taking full responsibility but also said she loved him.
Junkermeier pleaded guilty to first-degree premeditated murder earlier this year and is serving life in prison with no possibility of parole.