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State wants DNA from Junkermeier, the man suspected of murdering Willmar, Minn, woman

WILLMAR -- A Willmar teen charged with the July 29 murder of Lila Warwick will have to provide a DNA sample.

During a brief court appearance Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court, Assistant State Attorney General Matthew Frank made a formal request to Judge Donald Spilseth that the state be allowed to collect DNA from Brok Junkermeier.

Frank said DNA is needed as the state tests forensic evidence collected from Junkermeier's home and car, where blood was reportedly found.

Blood found at the scene of the murder and on the murder weapon, which was described in the police report as a sword-type knife, will also be tested for DNA, said Frank.

Junkermeier, 19, is charged with second-degree murder for strangling and stabbing Warwick, a 79-year-old grandmother and great-grandmother who lived alone in her home on the edge of Willmar.

Junkermeier's lawyer Kent Marshall did not object to the collection of Junkermeier's DNA, but said he requested that a formal motion be filed with the court so that he could respond to a request for the "actual testing" of the DNA.

Because a law enforcement officer needs to be present when the DNA is collected from Junkermeier, Marshall said he also wanted to be present at that time.

Frank assured the court that the officer would not ask Junkermeier questions during the collection of the DNA.

Wearing an orange sweatshirt and dark pants, Junkermeier entered and left the courtroom with his head bowed.

He glanced briefly at his father who was sitting in the front row of the small courtroom.

During the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes, Frank said the prosecution was still working on the discovery material and "numerous reports" for the case. Once those reports are completed, Frank said they would be forwarded to Marshall.

Marshall said Junkermeier was waiving the 28-day timeline for an omnibus hearing to be held.

Spilseth set that hearing date for 9 a.m. Oct. 16.

Junkermeier remains in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $2 million bail.

Two other Willmar teens, Devon James Jenkins, 16, and Robbie Warwick -- the 17-year-old grandson of Lila Warwick who is alleged to have devised the murder plan -- are also charged with second-degree murder and liability for crimes of another.

They are being held at Prairie Lakes Youth Program detention center in Willmar.

Jenkins appeared in court Monday and Warwick has a hearing Thursday. Petitions have been filed to have both juveniles charged as adults.

Marshall, who is serving as a public defender for Junkermeier, is primarily a private defense attorney from the Grant County town of Barrett.

Marshall said he was last in Willmar when he served as the public defender for Daniel Hood, who was convicted of killing an 81-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man from New London in 1996. Hood was 15 years old at the time but was tried and sentenced as an adult.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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