2 charges in slaying of Foley man missing for months, found dead near St. Cloud

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2014 - 11:43 PM

Two St. Cloud men have been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Jamie R. Wylie of Foley, Minn., in rural Benton County.

Travis M. McKinney, 25, first shot Wylie in the hip, and then, as he tried to limp away, he was shot again in the face and neck, according to charges filed Friday in Benton County District Court.

Later, McKinney laughed about the killing and made rap lyrics about it, according to the criminal complaint.

Co-defendant Joshua Lee Smith, 24, is accused of ordering McKinney, Wylie and a witness out of a truck, then drove back and forth on County Road 4 in St. George Township while McKinney shot Wylie.

Wylie, 31, a Cottage Grove native, last had contact with his family on Dec. 10. They reported him missing to Foley police five days later and searched for him for months. On March 25, a passerby spotted his body along County Road 75 in Minden Township.

The charges also allege:

Wylie had been staying at Smith’s apartment. Smith was using methamphetamine and he thought Wylie was going to sexually assault a woman with whom Smith was obsessed.

The men also falsely believed that Wylie was a police “snitch” after learning that he had a police phone number programmed into his cellphone. Wylie actually had that number because he was trying to get custody of his kids.

The suspects grabbed Wylie when he went outside to smoke, and drove him to the Foley area. After McKinney shot Wylie in the hip, Wylie tried to limp away, pleading with McKinney to not shoot him again. But McKinney shot him twice more. His body was then dumped behind an auto dealership.

McKinney also is charged with a felony in possession of a firearm. He’s served time for a drive-by shooting and receiving stolen property.

JOY POWELL

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