Richfield police and prosecutors had tried repeatedly to end the violence between Nerissa Annette Shaw and the 54-year-old man arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing her.
In four cases in 2011 and 2012, the frightened woman refused to cooperate with authorities.
St. Louis Park police say Shaw, whose body had been wrapped in a sheet, had been beaten about her face and head. She was found Tuesday near the 5000 block of Cedar Lake Road in a wooded area near railroad tracks.
The suspect was on two years of supervised probation for his second conviction of violating an order of protection involving Shaw. That protection order had expired May 16. Still, under his conviction last year for a gross misdemeanor crime, the suspect received a six-month jail sentence and two years on probation — and was ordered to have no contact with Shaw, among other conditions.
He served five days in the Hennepin County workhouse, and the other 175 days were suspended. He was to go back to the workhouse if he committed any domestic violence or did not meet other conditions ordered by a judge last year, records show.
The suspect was ordered to attend treatment for domestic abuse, to not consume alcohol or drugs, and to not interfere with 911 emergency calls.
Although Shaw was offered help through Cornerstone, an advocacy service that aims to prevent domestic violence, she refused, officials said.
In the last case, she didn't show up for his trial for repeated violations of a protection order, officials said Wednesday night. Because police nabbed her on-again, off-again boyfriend, red-handed at her apartment, he was convicted despite her reluctance to cooperate. Under terms of his probation, the man was ordered to have no contact with Shaw.
Authorities say they see the same pattern time and again in domestic-violence homicides involving victims who were intimidated, dependent and fearful.
The suspect is being held by St. Louis Park police on suspicion of second-degree homicide. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects before they are charged.
Shaw, whose 46th birthday would have been Wednesday, had moved to Minneapolis in the past year.
Mary Jane Smetanka contributed to this story.