St. Paul man was assaulted prior to his death

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG
  • Star Tribune
  • March 20, 2012 - 7:34 PM

A St. Paul man found dead on his front porch Monday had been assaulted, but an official cause of death remains under investigation.

The incident that led to Andrew W. Braun's death is not a random act, St. Paul police said in a news release Tuesday. Few other details were released.

Police would not elaborate on any weapons that might have been used in the assault.

Braun was found about 1:40 a.m. in the 700 block of E. Lawson Avenue, in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. He had a troubled history with drugs and law enforcement.

"We should not ignore that Andy was not just a drug addict with legal problems, but he was a deeply loved father, son, nephew, cousin, friend and loved one who once was a little boy from the East Side with a big heart and curious spirit," said a statement his family released Tuesday.

" ... Despite his problems with addiction in recent years, and how they incrementally destroyed his life, Andy began as a hardworking, proud father who exemplified what St. Paul's East Siders are most known for: perseverance," the statement said.

Police are calling the death an "apparent homicide," adding that motive and suspect information were not available.

Police and court records show that Braun's house was considered a problem property and that drug sales and use occurred at the address. The house was condemned in 2010.

A search warrant last November yielded 98 grams of methamphetamine hidden in a bathroom door frame and numerous shotguns and rifles. One was stolen.

Braun lived at the home with his girlfriend, said his friend Steve La Fontaine. He has two grown children.

"We should not ignore that Andy was murdered," his family's statement read. "His murder is unconscionable despite his addiction and legal problems. Andy was deeply loved and will be sorely missed."

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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