WILLMAR - Brok Nathaniel Junkermeier and Robert Innocencio Warwick have been indicted on first-degree murder charges for their roles in the July 29 strangulation and stabbing death of Warwick’s grandmother, Lila Warwick, 79, at her home on the east edge of Willmar.
The grand jury’s indictments were filed Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. In Minnesota, first-degree murder charges, which are punishable by life in prison without parole, can only come from a grand jury.
Each of the young men faces one count of first-degree premeditated murder and one count of first-degree murder with intent while committing a felony - in this case the felony of first-degree burglary. Both made their first appearances on the first-degree charges on Wednesday and Warwick’s unconditional bail was set at $2 million. Junkermeier was already being held on $2 million unconditional bail.
The indictment against Warwick, 17, is filed as an adult case in District Court and the juvenile court file against him has been dismissed. He is allegedly the mastermind of the plan to rob and kill Lila Warwick, apparently believing that his grandmother had a safe in the home containing in excess of $40,000, according to court documents.
Junkermeier, 19, of Willmar, is allegedly the person who entered Lila Warwick’s residence, attacked her and cut her hand with a small sword, and then forced her to write him a check from her bank account. He then allegedly stabbed and strangled her before putting her body in the basement of her home, court documents say.
Warwick’s body was discovered later that same day, after she missed a meeting at her church and law enforcement was asked to check on her.
According to court records, the single second-degree murder charge that was initially filed against Junkermeier was dismissed on Thursday.
Warwick has left juvenile detention and is now held in the Kandiyohi County Jail, where Junkermeier is also being held.
There is no indication that the third individual initially charged in the case, Devon James Jenkins, 16, was included in the grand jury indictment. He has been in custody at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar.
His juvenile file with two second-degree murder charges remains open. However, no new court date has been set in his case. Jenkins is allegedly the person who drove Junkermeier to the Lila Warwick residence and waited in the vehicle while the murder was being committed.
Junkermeier’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 16.
Warwick’s next appearance has not been set. An appearance that had previously been set for Monday in the juvenile file has been cancelled.
Both Junkermeier and Warwick are now being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office, with Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank listed as the prosecutor.