Warwick waives court hearing, next appearance is Sept. 23
WILLMAR — The 17-year-old Willmar boy charged in the July strangulation and stabbing murder of his grandmother, Lila Warwick, 79, of Willmar, has waived his probable cause hearing and will next appear on Sept. 23 in Kandiyohi County District Court.
Robert Inocencio Warwick responded to questions from District Judge David L. Mennis with simple "yes" answers during the two-minute hearing Monday morning. Warwick answered that he had had enough time to talk with his attorney, public defender Ramona Lackore, and that he agreed to waive the hearing.
A probable cause hearing includes arguments by the attorneys on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the case. Stephen Wentzell, assistant county attorney, is prosecuting the case.
The teen, who was allegedly the mastermind in the murder, faces two charges of second-degree murder. He's been held in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar since he was detained after the July 29 killing.
Warwick has been charged as a juvenile, but court information regarding 16- and 17-year-old defendants charged with felony counts is public information. He is one of three teens charged in the case.
Brok Nathaniel Junkermeier, 19, of Willmar, faces one count of second-degree murder. He's held on $2 million unconditional bail at the Kandiyohi County Jail. His next hearing is Oct. 16.
Devon James Jenkins, 16, of Willmar, faces two counts in the case. He's also in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center. No new court hearing date has been set for Jenkins.
According to the juvenile petition against Warwick, he was the "mastermind" of a plan to rob and kill his grandmother at her home on the east edge of Willmar. The boy allegedly believed his grandma had a safe with $40,000 in the house and had been planning the crime for some time.
According to the criminal complaints filed in the case, Junkermeier allegedly entered Lila Warwick's home during the early morning hours of July 29, using an entry code provided by Warwick, and waited for her to enter the garage. Junkermeier allegedly injured Lila Warwick's hand with a sword, then bandaged her hand and forced her to write him a check from her bank account before stabbing and strangling her.
Lila Warwick's body was discovered later that day in the basement of her home after she missed a meeting at church and law enforcement was asked to check on her.
Robert Warwick allegedly admitted to investigators that he had discussed robbing and assaulting his grandmother and had given Junkermeier the garage door code, but he had not expected Junkermeier would kill her. Warwick allegedly admitted during the interview to going back to Lila Warwick's home later that day and stealing the safe from her home.