Life without parole is the punishment for a Rochester man who covered his shoes and hands with plastic bags before fatally shooting his grandmother’s neighbor in the head.
Malcolm J. Woods, 28, was sentenced in Olmsted County District Court last week in connection with the September 2018 killing of Brandon M. Arndt at the door to his victim’s Rochester home in the 1900 block of Marion Road SE.
Jurors needed barely hours to convict Woods of first-degree murder in a trial that saw the defendant act as his own legal defense. That verdict led to his immediate and mandatory sentence.
Two alleged accomplices, Kielah S. Parsons, 35, of Rochester, and Darien K. Klindworth-Woods, 19, of North Mankato, Minn., also have murder cases filed against them and have pleaded not guilty.
The three confronted Arndt about an hour after visiting their disabled grandmother, Rosetta Barnes, in the hospital and coming away believing that Arndt did something to put her there, according to authorities.
According to criminal complaints filed against the three:
Arndt’s mother told police there was a loud knock at the door, then a bang and the sound of her son falling to the ground. Officers arrived about 4 a.m. and found Arndt shot in the face at close range.
His mother told police that her son would help Barnes with maintenance around her home, pick up groceries and help her with her medication.
Shortly before the shooting, Woods, Parsons and Klindworth-Woods were shown on surveillance video leaving the hospital where Barnes was being treated. At a convenience store, Parsons bought snacks and left with extra plastic bags.
They drove to Arndt’s home, and Woods put the plastic bags on his hands and feet before walking up to the residence. One gunshot rang out, and the suspects drove away.