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Testimony in Junkermeier murder trial to resume today

WILLMAR — Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning in the first-degree murder trial of Brok Junkermeier of Willmar.

Junkermeier, 19, was indicted last fall on two counts of first-degree murder in the July 29, 2013, death of Lila Warwick, 79, of Willmar.

Her body was found in the basement of her home just outside the Willmar city limits the afternoon of July 29. She had allegedly been killed that morning by Junkermeier.

The trial at the Kandiyohi County Courthouse in Willmar began with three days of jury selection last week and the testimony of friends and family. One Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputy testified about finding Lila Warwick’s body.

In an opening statement last week, Kent Marshall, a state public defender, told the jury that there was little question that Junkermeier had caused Lila Warwick’s death. However, he asked jurors to keep an open mind and suggested that Junkermeier may not be guilty of the specific charges leveled against him.

Also charged in the death of Lila Warwick is her grandson Robert Warwick, 18. Robert Warwick also was indicted on first-degree murder charges in September for his role in the killing. No trial date has been set for Robert Warwick.

Both young men face the possibility of life in prison if convicted and both are currently held on $2 million bail in the Kandiyohi County Jail. Junkermeier has been in the county jail since Aug. 1, when he was arrested.

A third teen charged in the case, Devon Jenkins, 16, of Willmar, has already been sentenced as a juvenile for aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Court documents say that Robert Warwick was the alleged mastermind of the crime, which he and Junkermeier had allegedly planned for months. Robert Warwick 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 the home after the murder and stole a small safe. Some of those items, including Lila Warwick’s documents, were found when law officers served a search warrant on Junkermeier’s 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

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