Duluth home invasion: St. Thomas student charged

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2007 - 10:31 PM

A St. Thomas University student and another 19-year-old are accused of kidnapping and burglary.

A University of St. Thomas student and Army National Guard member has been charged with a home invasion that terrified a Duluth boy and his mother.

David E. Schiller, 19, of St. Paul studied robberies, burglary and blood forensics, and then staked out the Duluth home for 10 to 15 days before breaking in on Aug. 30, according to a complaint charging him with first-degree burglary and kidnapping.

The mother, 47-year-old Kelly Hurley, and her 9-year-old son were bound during the robbery, the charges say.

Also charged with first-degree burglary and kidnapping was Jonathan G. Phipps, 19, of Center City, whom Schiller told police had dealt most directly with the boy during the invasion.

Schilling had learned about the family from a third man, who had played hockey at Marshall High School last year with an older son in the Hurley family and had spent time at their home. That third man had driven Schilling to other home invasions and had told Schilling that the family kept money in a safe in their home, the complaint says.

On Wednesday night, Kelly Hurley said the gunmen threatened to shoot her 9-year-old if she did not turn over $15,000 in cash. Hurley said she could not comment further on the case.

Court papers, including an application for a warrant to search Schiller's apartment in the 2300 block of Marshall Avenue in St. Paul, say that while the victims slept, gunmen broke into the Duluth house through a basement door, and that one of them cut himself. The tall, thin men were wearing bandanas and carrying handguns, the victims told police.

Authorities took items including handguns, drug paraphernalia, clothing and DNA samples from the St. Paul apartment.

Crime scene investigators found blood from one of the suspects in the house and on Kelly Hurley's pajama top.

The suspects were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday and remained in the St. Louis County jail on Wednesday night.

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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