4 indicted for first-degree murderFour people implicated in a Red Wing shooting death could now face life in prison if they are convicted of murder.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Four people implicated in a Red Wing shooting death could now face life in prison if they are convicted of murder.
A grand jury on Monday formally indicted two men and two women on first-degree murder charges in the Jan. 20 shooting death of Luis Orlando Galicia Mijangos. All four made brief court appearances Wednesday.
They included the latest suspect, 19-year-old Samantha Mary-Helen Siples of Red Wing. Police arrested Siples Tuesday after the grand jury found probable cause that she aided and abetted Marvin Todd Griffith, the alleged shooter.
The indictment says Griffith, 19, killed Mijangos with premeditation. He and the others were previously being held on second-degree murder charges.
Due to the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, no details of Siples’ alleged role in the case were released.
“The appearance on the indictments are tangible evidence that the prosecution is moving forward,” Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher said between hearings Wednesday.
First District Court Judge Thomas Bibus ordered Siples held on
$1 million bail, the same as Griffith and alleged accomplice William Jamar Lawton, 19.
Another woman, Erika Marie Sanchez, 20, also appeared Wednesday in court, where her bail was raised from $300,000 to $500,000 after she also was indicted on a first-degree murder count.
In Minnesota, a grand jury must indict suspects when first-degree murder charges are sought. Grand juries see and hear evidence presented by prosecutors trying to establish probable cause for the most severe charges.
The only suspect to escape an indictment was alleged accomplice Julian Smith. Attorneys in the case reached an agreement last week that could set the 16-year-old free in two years in exchange for cooperation in the case.
According to a public list of witnesses attached to the indictment, Smith was one of 24 people to testify in front of the grand jury.
Authorities claim Griffith shot 26-year-old Mijangos during a narcotics robbery in an alley behind West Seventh Street. Authorities believe Lawton, 19, and Smith were present at the shooting.
Mijangos was found shot in the chest inside a vehicle stopped in an alley off North Park Street less than a block from the Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center.
Sanchez is accused of aiding Griffith by dumping the suspected murder weapon in a St. Paul storm sewer.
Betcher would not say if others arrests were imminent, but added, “We are seeing continued benefits of a thorough police investigation that is continuing.”