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Hearing postponed for grandson accused of planning grandmother's murder

WILLMAR — A Thursday morning court hearing scheduled for Robert Warwick, 17, of Willmar was delayed at the request of Warwick's lawyer.

Warwick is one of three teens charged in the strangulation and stabbing death of his grandmother, Lila Warwick, 79. She was murdered in her Willmar home on July 29.

Warwick and two other teens were arrested a few days later. He is charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated and liability for crimes of another.

The new date for the probable cause hearing is Sept. 9. A hearing to discuss whether he will be tried in adult court will also be delayed. It had been scheduled for Aug. 30.

Warwick has been charged as a juvenile, but court information is public for juveniles 16 and older charged with felonies.

Judge David Mennis approved the delay at the request of public defender Ramona Lackore. Assistant County Attorney Stephen Wentzell did not object to the delay.

Lackore said the defense was willing to waive the requirement that probable cause hearings be held within a set amount of time.

No specific reason was given for the delay.

During the three-minute court hearing, Warwick sat at the defense table with his mother Jennifer Warwick and two attorneys. He came to the courtroom in handcuffs, and they were removed at the door.

Mennis said he was to remain in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar.

The juvenile delinquency petition filed against Warwick describes him as the "mastermind" of a plan to rob and kill his grandmother. He allegedly believed she had a safe in her home with $40,000 in it.

Also charged in the crime are Brok Junkermeier, 19, of Willmar and Devon Jenkins, 16, of Willmar.

Junkermeier has been charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated. He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail. Bail has been set at $2 million for an unconditional release and $1 million for release with conditions set by the court.

Jenkins is also charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated and liability for crimes of another and is also in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center.

According to the criminal complaints filed, Warwick had allegedly talked about wanting to kill his grandmother for months, and he had enlisted his friend Junkermeier in the plan.

Early the morning of July 29, Junkermeier allegedly used an entry code provided by Warwick to enter Lila Warwick's home. Jenkins waited in the car while Junkermeier went into the home, according to the complaint.

Junkermeier allegedly cut Lila Warwick with a small sword, forced her to write him a check from her bank account and then stabbed and strangled her before putting her body in the basement of her home.

Her body was discovered after she missed a meeting at church and law enforcement was asked to check on her.

When interviewed by authorities on Aug. 1, Warwick allegedly admitted that he had discussed robbing and assaulting his grandmother and had given Junkermeier the garage door code, but he had not expected to kill her.

He allegedly admitted during the interview to going back to Lila Warwick's home later on July 29 and stealing the safe from her home.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340