Warwick trial set to begin July 21, judge to consider change of venue
WILLMAR — The jury trial for Robert Warwick, 18, of Willmar, on first-degree murder charges for his alleged role in the July killing of his grandmother, was set this afternoon for July 21 through Aug. 8.
Where the trial will happen is yet to be determined, as District Judge David Mennis will consider a change of venue motion, to move the trial away from Kandiyohi County, filed by Warwick’s attorney, Daniel Mohs.
During this afternoon’s pre-trial hearing, Mennis ordered that Mohs will have until May 2 to collect the news media articles Mohs says constitute significant prejudicial pretrial publicity and write an argument to be considered by the judge.
Matthew Frank, one of two assistant attorneys general prosecuting the case, will have until May 9 to file a response with the court.
Mennis told the attorneys that he would issue a ruling on the motion “as soon as I can figure it out.”
Robert “Robbie” Warwick, 18, was indicted on two first-degree murder charges for his role in the July 29, 2013, killing of his grandmother, Lila Warwick, 79, at her home along the east edge of Willmar. He faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted and has been held on $2 million bail since the September grand jury indictment.
Warwick’s co-defendant, Brok Junkermeier, 19, was sentenced April 9 to life in prison without parole. Junkermeier changed his plea to guilty to first-degree premeditated murder on the 10th day of his jury trial in Kandiyohi County District Court. During his plea hearing, Junkermeier admitted that he stabbed and strangled Lila Warwick after months of planning with Robert Warwick.
The third teen charged in the case, Devon Jenkins, 16, of Willmar, pleaded guilty in December to aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Jenkins was sentenced to the Prairie Lakes Youth Program, will serve probation until his 21st birthday and must complete 100 hours of community service each year as part of his juvenile sentence.
Under extended juvenile jurisdiction, Jenkins’ adult sentence, of 15 years in prison, was stayed but could be executed if he fails to comply with the juvenile sentence requirements.