Totem pole murder case to have unusual trial evidence
October 31, 2012 — 3:50pm
In the storied history of Minnesota criminal trials, this may be a new one:
The judge in a northern Minnesota murder case has granted a request to reserve a courtroom large enough to accommodate the alleged murder weapon: a 17-foot totem pole, according to the International Falls Daily Journal.
Koochiching County District Judge Charles LeDuc, in answer to that request by prosecutors, selected the courthouse in Bemidji for the trial of Carl Muggli, who is accused of murdering his wife, Linda, by causing the totem pole they were making to fall on her.
Muggli, 50, is set to go on trial Jan. 14 on charges of first- and second-degree murder in connection with his 61-year-old wife's death on Nov. 26, 2010, in the garage where the couple built totem poles for sale on their 20-acre property near Ray, Minn.
The charges against Muggli say investigators discovered that just before his wife's death he'd been carrying on an online romance with a woman in Alabama and had sought to buy property with her in Texas, where police arrested him in June 2011.
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