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A Cottage Grove man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife following a failed murder-for-hire plot. A Washington County jury convicted Stephen Carl Allwine of first-degree premeditated murder Jan. 31, concluding a week-long trial. Washington County District Judge William B. Ekstrum handed down the life sentence Feb. 2. First-degree murder convictions come with a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
A Cottage Grove man has been convicted of first-degree premeditated murder. Stephen Carl Allwine drugged and shot his wife, Amy Allwine, before attempting to stage her 2016 death as a suicide, prosecutors said. Her death followed the failure of an elaborate, months-long plot Stephen Allwine hatched to have his wife killed. Jurors agreed, issuing a guilty verdict Jan. 31 after nearly eight hours of deliberation, the Pioneer Press reports. Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 2.
The next round of state elections will task Minnesotans with casting votes for nine congressional seats, all 134 State House seats and a successor to Gov. Mark Dayton. Polls won't open until August and November, but voters across the state will have the opportunity to help launch the election process next week at precinct caucuses. Citizens will have opportunities Tuesday, Feb. 6, to discuss party platforms, select delegates and vote for the gubernatorial candidate they'd like their party to support. Registration starts at 6:30 p.m. with caucusing to follow at 7 p.m.
STILLWATER — Washington County prosecutors allege a Cottage Grove man spent months plotting his wife's murder rather than divorce her and jeopardize his esteemed role with a local church, but his defense attorney said the state's evidence has been fraught with "distractions" and "red herrings." Opening arguments in the trial of Stephen Allwine began Jan. 23. A 15-member jury will determine whether Allwine is guilty of of first-degree premeditated murder.
Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry said a deputy with his office was lucky to walk away from a recent vehicle crash in Hugo without severe injuries. Squad car dashcam footage from the Jan. 15 incident shows Deputy Greg Reiter tumbling onto the road when an oncoming vehicle strikes a stopped vehicle. As the Twin Cities area braces for an estimated seven to 11 inches of snow, Starry is asking drivers to slow down to prevent near misses like these, or worse. Reiter had been assisting a passenger of the vehicle, which was involved in another accident.
Farmington police are asking the public for help identifying two suspects in an armed gas station robbery earlier this week. The robbery happened around 3 a.m. on Jan. 9 at the Elm Street Kwik Trip in Farmington, according to police. Security footage from the store shows two people entering the store in hooded sweatshirts and face coverings. Authorities said the suspects displayed a handgun and left the store on foot traveling north. Police are also asking for the public's help identifying the logo on a red sweatshirt one of the suspects wore.
For many Japanese Americans, the trauma of World War II internment camps lingered long after their release. In her newest novel, "On Liberty's Wings: A Post-WWII Novel," Afton author Diane Dettmann chronicles Yasu Nakahara's journey to rebuild her life after her family's release from a camp in California. By 1948, Yasu has moved to Minneapolis. Although the 22-year-old newlywed found her calling as a teacher, Yasu still struggles with post-war prejudice and residual flashbacks to prison camps surrounded by barbed wire.
Jeremy Jackson had little to work with when he was asked to identify remains from a long-abandoned cemetery near Hastings. An avid genealogical researcher, Jackson works with the state archaeologist's office to eak out information from forgotten and unmarked graves throughout Minnesota. When construction in Nininger Township turned up human remains, a text message with the location's address offered the only clue: the property had once been Rose Hill Cemetery. Within two hours, Jackson said he was able track down the name Robert Caleff.
A lawyer representing Sen. Dan Schoen in his final days in the Minnesota Legislature called swirling sexual harassment allegations "suspect" and said Schoen's accusers were "misrepresenting" their interactions. Attorney Paul Rogosheske refuted the accusations at a Nov. 22 news conference following the announcement of Schoen's Dec. 15 resignation. Schoen did not attend the conference. Accusations emerged about two weeks ago following an MinnPost report in which multiple women described unwanted sexual attention from Schoen.
Sandra and Jim Herkenratt looked forward to having neighbors. For 38 years, the couple's home in Nininger township faced only an expansive farm field with no other nearby homes. When a Hastings family broke ground on a new home across the road, the Herkenratts welcomed the prospect of living closer to another family, one with children. Construction, however, halted in September after crews unearthed a macabre discovery. According to investigation documents from the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, an excavator digging the home's foundation uncovered bones.