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Scheel pleads guilty to killing grandparents in Paynesville home

ST. CLOUD — A Paynesville man pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Stearns County District Court to killing his grandparents at the home they shared in Paynesville.

According to the Stearns County Attorney's office, Gregory Allen Scheel, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the first degree for intentionally killing 93-year-old Wilbert Scheel and 80-year-old Gloria Scheel on March 21.

Scheel was committed to prison following the plea.

He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

On April 24, a Stearns County grand jury indicted Scheel on four counts of murder in the first degree and two counts of murder in the second degree.

The indictment came following the deaths of the elderly Scheels, whose bodies were discovered in a vehicle near the Games Lake County Park in northern Kandiyohi County after they had been reported missing.

Under Minnesota law, Scheel can only be sentenced on one count per victim, according to a news release from Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.

The two counts will be sentenced consecutively and Scheel will not be eligible for parole for at least 60 years.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4.

This investigation involved the collaborative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies, include the Paynesville Police Department, Stearns County Sheriff's Office, Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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