New Hope woman found strangled in her apartment

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 9, 2011 - 11:48 PM

Longtime boyfriend Douglas C. Manney was charged with second-degree murder in her death.

Douglas Manney

Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff, Star Tribune

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The night before Kristin E. Sandeen was found strangled in her New Hope apartment, police were called to a dispute at the home she shared with her longtime boyfriend, Douglas C. Manney, according to court documents.

She was examined and wasn't hurt, the officers reported. Manney said that she'd assaulted him but that he didn't want to press charges, and he agreed to go to a motel for the night.

The next morning, New Hope police were again sent to the couple's apartment. This time, Sandeen, 40, was dead. On Thursday, Manney, 50, was charged with second-degree murder in her death.

Although New Hope police and the medical examiner's office wouldn't release Sandeen's name, family members said they were holding a memorial service for her.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court:

About 11:10 a.m. Sunday, officers were sent to an apartment building in the 6000 block of W. Broadway after the victim's sister called 911. The victim was lying on the living room floor. Her body was still warm, but she was dead, the complaint said. Police learned that she'd been alive at 5 a.m., when she had called her boss to say she wasn't coming to work.

The victim's sister told police that Manney had called her at 11:04 a.m. to tell her that the victim was unconscious and he didn't know whether she was dead or alive. He told her that she should call 911 and that he was leaving the apartment, the complaint said.

The complaint said that Manney had stayed at a motel Saturday night. He left just before 10 a.m. Sunday and took a taxi back to his apartment.

Manney told police he and Sundeen had been dating for eight years and had lived together for four. He said she was alive Sunday morning but then fell off the couch and appeared unconscious.

During an autopsy, internal injuries and external bruising consistent with strangulation were found, the complaint said.

When confronted with that information, Manney admitted that he'd grabbed her by the neck and squeezed "so hard that she gasped for air," the complaint said. But he said he'd done that the night before her death, the complaint said.

Manney is being held on $1 million bail. Minnesota court records show that Manney has previously been arrested and charged with domestic assault, in 1998 and 2001 in Carlton County.

In each of those cases, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. He also was charged and convicted of violating an order for protection. His criminal history also includes drunken driving, property damage and passing worthless checks.

Sundeen's death was the first homicide in New Hope in about nine years, said police Sgt. Scott Slawson.

Pat Pheifer • 612-673-7252

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