A 40-year-old New Prague man is the fourth person charged with murder in connection with a shooting during a drug-related robbery along an Inver Grove Heights road in January's final hours.
Jason R. Beck was charged Tuesday in Dakota County District Court with second-degree unintentional murder for his alleged role in the death on Jan. 31 of Bryant J. Lutgens, whose 39th birthday would have been the next day.
A warrant has been issued nationwide for Beck's arrest.
Arrested earlier on suspicion of being the shooter was Gabriel Alfonso Sanchez Cruz, 42, of Minneapolis, who was charged in Dakota County District Court with second-degree intentional murder.
Beck is accused of being with Cruz when Lutgens was killed just east of Interstate 494 in the 1300 block of W. 60th Street.
Two other suspects in the case have been jailed and charged with aiding an offender after the fact. They are Kyle M. Reagan, 32, of Excelsior, and Ryan E. Whitman, 38, of Richfield.
Prosecutors say that a woman told police that while she and Cruz were at his apartment on Jan. 31, he asked her whether Lutgens had any meth to sell. She arranged for them to talk on the phone, and the two men set up a meeting.
She said Cruz returned to the apartment about 11:45 p.m. She said he appeared "off" and was talking very fast. Cruz then told her that he shot Lutgens, the charges said.
Cruz explained that he pulled out a gun intending to rob Lutgens, and the two started struggling over Lutgens' backpack, according to the charges. Lutgens fell, Cruz shot him and fled with all of Lutgens' belongings, Cruz said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482