17-year-old from St. Louis Park pleads not guilty in clerk's slaying

  • Updated: December 16, 2010 - 8:59 PM

The St. Louis Park teenager accused of killing two Iowa convenience store clerks last month has pleaded not guilty in one of the cases.

Michael Richard Swanson, 17, entered written pleas of not guilty Thursday to charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Kossuth County.

As a result, his Dec. 20 arraignment is likely to be rescheduled. He has not entered pleas to the same charges in Humboldt County, where an arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 28. Swanson's attorney, Charles Kenville, declined to comment on Thursday's pleas.

Swanson is accused of stealing his mother's Jeep last month, driving to a family cabin in northern Minnesota, stealing a gun from the cabin and driving south to Iowa.

Charges say that on Nov. 15 he walked into a convenience store in Algona, Iowa, wearing a mask and shot Vicky Bowman-Hall, 47, during a robbery. She died later that night. Less than an hour later, police say, he robbed a convenience store in Humboldt and killed Sheila Myers, 61.

Authorities say they believe he shot the women so they could not identify him.

ABBY SIMONS

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