Shavelle Chavez Nelson and Ashley M. Conrade have, as expected, been indicted by a Dakota County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Anarae Schunk.
Authorities believe Schunk was killed in the early morning hours of Sept. 22 — stabbed 22 times with a kitchen knife — at Conrade's Rosemount townhouse. Her body was found Sept. 30 in a roadside ditch in Rice County.
It took police and prosecutors nine months to gather and process reams of evidence and to charge Nelson, 32, and Conrade, 24, in her death. County Attorney Jim Backstrom said when charges were announced that it may never be known who struck the fatal blows, but it doesn't really matter. Both defendants are responsible, he said.
The grand jury met over five days and heard testimony from 17 witnesses before handing up the indictment charging the two with aiding and abetting first-degree premeditated murder and aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder. Those charges supersede the previous charge of second-degree intentional murder. The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison.
Nelson, also known as Anthony Lee Nelson, is currently serving a sentence in Stillwater prison for an unrelated burglary in Richfield in the summer of 2013. He also is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the Sept. 22 shooting death of Palagor (Paul) Jobi, 23. Jobi was shot after he and Nelson got into a dispute outside Nina's Bar & Grill in Burnsville.
Conrade also is charged with aiding an offender after the fact in connection with Jobi's death. She had been free on bail on that charge but was rearrested June 25 in Schunk's death and remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail. She will make her first court appearance on the indictment Wednesday. Nelson's first appearance on the indictment is Thursday.
Schunk, a University of Minnesota student, had lived with her parents in Burnsville until about a month before her death. She had dated Nelson for a short time in the summer of 2012 and had reconnected with him in the weeks before her death. Her friends and family members said that she was to try to collect $5,000 she had lent him while they were dating.
Schunk went with Nelson and Conrade to Nina's that night. After the shooting, the three returned to Conrade's home in the 14500 block of Shannon Parkway.
At a news conference after the original charges were filed, Backstrom said the last person to see Schunk alive was a friend of a neighbor about 3:30 a.m. outside the townhouse.