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Judge orders mental exam for Junkermeier in Warwick murder case

WILLMAR — A judge has ordered a mental examination of the teen charged with killing a Willmar grandmother in her home by stabbing and strangling her.

District Judge Donald Spilseth ordered on Wednesday that Brok Junkermeier, the 19-year-old Willmar man charged with first-degree murder in the July 29 death of Lila Warwick, be examined by state human services officials.

In the order, Spilseth noted that Matthew Frank, the assistant attorney general prosecuting Junkermeier and co-defendant Robert Warwick, had requested that Spilseth order the examination.

Also noted was that Kent Marshall, Junkermeier’s public defense attorney, had notified the judge that his client was in agreement that the examination should be ordered.

Marshall had previously filed a motion indicating that Junkermeier may rely on a defense that he is mentally ill or mentally deficient.

Junkermeier and Warwick, 18, have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the death of Warwick’s 79-year-old grandmother at her home along the east edge of Willmar.

Both face the possibility of life in prison if convicted and both are currently held on $2 million bail in the Kandiyohi County Jail.

Robert Warwick was the alleged mastermind of the crime, and was allegedly motivated by a large amount of money he suspected was in his grandmother’s possession. Junkermeier allegedly entered the grandmother’s home and stabbed and strangled her after making her write him a check from her bank account. The teens also allegedly returned to Lila Warwick’s home after the murder and stole a small safe and other items from the residence.

The third teen charged in the case, Devon Jenkins, 16, of Willmar, faces two second-degree murder charges. His adult certification hearing, to move his case from juvenile to adult court, is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Jenkins remains in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar.

In the order filed Wednesday, Spilseth set forth that Junkermeier will be examined by the state Department of Human Services forensic services and that a written report be issued based on that examination, which is to be conducted at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter. The report is due in 60 days.

The examiner is ordered to give a diagnosis of mental condition and determine whether any mental illness or deficiency caused Junkermeier to not know the nature of the alleged criminal act or to not know that it was wrong.

If Junkermeier is found to be mentally ill or deficient, the examiner is to give an opinion on Junkermeier’s ability to understand the criminal proceedings and participate in his defense.

The examiner is also asked to determine if Junkermeier is an imminent risk of danger to others or himself and if treatment is needed or possible for Junkermeier to attain and maintain competence.

Junkermeier’s next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2 and Warwick’s next hearing is Dec. 20.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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