St. Paul man charged with beating girlfriend to death

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH and CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: March 7, 2012 - 12:31 PM

Brent L. Lynch, 26, has violent past with women. He tried to leave scene where his girlfriend died Saturday.

Carolyn Leete was killed in St. Paul, allegedly by a man she had been dating. Brent L. Lynch was been accused of second-degree murder.

Photo: Provided by Melissa Narum,

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A St. Paul man pleaded with witnesses not to call police as his bloodied girlfriend lay dead on a bed in his home early Saturday morning.

"No, don't call, don't call," said Brent L. Lynch, according to a second-degree murder charge filed against him Tuesday.

Lynch, 26, is accused of killing Carolyn M. Leete, 32.

The complaint in Ramsey County District Court also said that Lynch later made a plea to jail staff: "Please be nice to me. I'm here for a long time."

Lynch and Leete, also of St. Paul, had been dating for two or three years. Records show that Lynch, who has a history of violence against women, is 6 feet 3 inches and weighs about 240 pounds. Leete weighed about 95 pounds.

"This was a particularly brutal crime, one of the worst I've seen," said County Attorney John Choi.

Leete earned a bachelor's degree in art in 2002 from St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn. Online profiles she maintained highlighted her painting, drawing and other art. She noted her experience in theater at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. She also listed experience as a nanny and preschool teacher.

"My husband died recently from cancer, and she was a great comfort to me," said Kelly Hendershot.

Melissa Narum wrote in an e-mail that Leete was always asking people questions about their lives and interests.

"Carolyn had a charm about her that you don't see in a lot of people," Narum wrote.

A woman at the Leete family home declined to comment.

According to the complaint:

Lynch and Leete were out Saturday. He called his mother, Brenda Lynch, about 3 a.m. and said Leete got out of their car to check on him and someone stole their vehicle. Brenda Lynch didn't want to be home when her son returned, so she left the house in the 800 block of W. Minnehaha Avenue.

"Brenda Lynch said when her son drinks, he gets crazy and it terrifies her," the complaint said.

Lynch's aunt, Glenda Jett, picked up the couple and took them home. Lynch called Jett about 6 a.m. and asked her to come check on Leete. Jett found Leete unresponsive, and ran to a neighbor who had nursing skills.

Lynch said that he had thrown a drunk Leete on the bed but she hit her head on the floor. The neighbor performed chest compressions. Another woman called 911.

Officers arrested Lynch a short while later as he was getting into a taxi.

The medical examiner's office found that Leete, who had a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.04 at the time of her death, had injuries to the back of her head and chin, cuts on both lips and fractures to her nasal bones. Her arms were bruised and her hands had defensive marks and scratches.

There was blood in numerous areas of the home, including stairs "where there appeared to be a fight."

Lynch's history includes felony convictions for terroristic threats and third-degree assault. In 2006, he punched a girlfriend at a clinic and dragged her out by her neck.

In 2004, he beat and choked a woman when she tried to leave him. He snatched their baby from her, chased her and bounced her head off a car.

paul.walsh@startribune.com • 612-673-4482 cxiong@startribune.com • 612-270-4708

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