St. Paul man pleads guilty to killing girlfriend while she sat in SUV with their infant son

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 14, 2014 - 10:18 AM

Suspect doesn’t remember, but admitted to murdering the mother of his baby.

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Michelle Marie Ploetz, 20, is pictured after graduation from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul.

Photo: Provided by the Ploetz family,

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Timothy Scott Hendricks pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting and killing the mother of his child earlier this year in St. Paul, though he said he couldn’t remember the circumstances of that day because he was high on drugs.

Hendricks, 19, of St. Paul, entered a Norgaard plea, which is a plea used when someone doesn’t remember events because of intoxication.

He was charged in Ramsey County District Court with the murder of Michelle Ploetz, 20. According to the complaint, on April 16, Hendricks went with Ploetz and her father to dinner at the Little Oven on the East Side of St. Paul so he could see their son.

As Ploetz’s father drove the group back, he told police that he heard a “pop,” stopped the car, and then heard another “pop” as something went by his head and broke the windshield. He got out of the car and saw Hendricks had a gun. He tried to get control of the weapon, but Hendricks shot at him before fleeing. Ploetz was taken to the hospital, but she was later removed from life support and died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Hendricks confirmed details of the night in court, though he said that he was under the influence of Xanax and ecstasy and couldn’t recall anything from that day. Hendricks confirmed when questioned that while in the back seat of the vehicle that day with Ploetz and their baby, they had a conversation about how it was not proper for him to be around the child because of his issues with drugs. He admitted that he took a gun out of his pocket and shot Ploetz and also fired at her father.

As part of the plea agreement, Hendricks pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, but earlier assault charges in a pending case will be dismissed. Hendricks is to receive consecutive terms when he is sentenced in October.

Timothy Hendricks’ sister Jennifer was in the courtroom Wednesday and cried when he entered his plea.

“I felt like I lost the brother that I used to know,” she said.

Jennifer Hendricks said she loved both her brother and Ploetz. If she could say anything to the Ploetz family, she said, she would express how deeply sorry she was.

 

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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