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Willmar, Minn., murder suspect Junkermeier appears in court this morning

WILLMAR – A Willmar teen charged with the July 29 murder of Lila Warwick made a brief court appearance this morning in Kandiyohi County District Court as part of a procedural Rule 8 hearing.

Wearing an orange sweatshirt and dark pants, Brok Junkermeier, 19, 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, Assistant State Attorney General Matthew 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 Junkermeier’s public defender, Kent Marshall.

Frank also made a formal request to Judge Donald Spilseth that the state be allowed to collect DNA from Junkermeier.

Frank said that DNA is needed as the state tests forensic evidence collected from Junkermeier’s home, car and the murder scene, where blood was apparently found.

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

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 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.

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. on Oct. 16.

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

Marshall was last in Willmar serving 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 more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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