40-year-old Jeremy Jones Richardson of Willow River is facing murder charges after a man was found dead in July.
According to the Pine County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a residence on Pine Lake Road in Finlayson on July 25 with the report of a man who had been beaten up and was not breathing. The 55-year-old victim was found by deputies laying face down with what was believed to be pieces of his cane on his back.
The victim was reported to have multiple wounds to his back and on the back of his head that appeared to be impact wounds from a blunt object.
A friend of the victim who called law enforcement said he had not heard from the victim since Tuesday, July 20, which concerned him enough to head over to the victim's house where he discovered the scene.
According to the criminal complaint, the man told law enforcement that the victim had been fighting with the suspect, Jeremy Richardson, over an old snowmobile. He said that the victim was scared of Richardson being released from jail and coming to the victim’s house, and the victim was planning to get a restraining order against the suspect.
The criminal complaint states that Richardson would often stay at the victim’s residence either when they were drinking or when the suspect was not getting along with his father.
Law enforcement contacted the suspect's father who said, he had recently blocked the victim's phone number because he had been calling and threatening him. Richardson's father also said that the suspect knew about the threats being made against him.
While investigators were taking statements on Sunday, July 25, dispatch advised that a caller reported seeing the suspect pushing a red 4-wheeler down the street in Finlayson. Deputies stopped Richardson while he was attempting to jumpstart the 4-wheeler. He reportedly told law enforcement that he had been drinking; he was later arrested at the request of his Department of Corrections agent for violating a no use of alcohol condition. During the arrest, investigators noticed that Richardson's right hand appeared swollen, and he had a cut on the top of his right middle finger.
Richardson told investigators that he had been at the victim's residence on Friday, July 23, where he was asked to leave by the victim and another person at the house. The suspect went on to say that he pretended to leave the house, but he then returned to the victim’s residence and broke into the garage through a side window to get some food. Richardson said he also went inside the house to eat some pie in the Kitchen. He claimed that the neither victim nor the other person were inside at the time.
During a later interview with investigators, Richardson was reported to have become emotional and started crying. He initially told officers that he did not take anything from the victim’s residence when he left, but he later stated he may have grabbed his ladder. Surveillance footage showed Richardson walking from the property with a ladder. The suspect also told investigators that he believed walked back to a friend's house, but he could not remember what he did there. Richardson reportedly then became agitated and asked to go back to his cell.
Blood droplets found under a broken window by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Crime Scene Team were later matched to Richardson through Minnesota offender DNA profiles.
Richardson is facing a Second-Degree Murder charge, a Second-Degree Murder- Without Intent - While Committing a Felony charge, and a First-Degree Burglary charge. Both murder charges come with a maximum sentence of not more than 40 years in prison. The burglary charge is a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine in the amount of $35,000.