Prosecutors on Thursday lodged murder charges against a St. Paul man who allegedly shot and killed another man during a domestic dispute in St. Paul's North End neighborhood earlier this week.
Glenn Lee Burton, 40, faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the killing of Todd Gerleman, of South St. Paul. The attempted murder charge was tacked on because authorities say the shot Burton allegedly fired was intended for a woman who was present, but it missed.
Gerleman, 56, was sitting in a car next to the woman, a friend of his, Monday evening when Burton fired into the vehicle, striking Gerleman in the face, according to a criminal complaint. Burton and the woman had been dating for several weeks, but she said the relationship had recently turned abusive and that Burton had become possessive, the complaint said.
The complaint says that Gerleman accompanied the woman on an errand earlier that evening and when they pulled up to her house, they noticed that Burton had apparently broken in. Upset, the woman drove to Burton's mother's home on West Larpenteur Avenue and asked for the mother's help in persuading Burton to leave, the complaint says. At some point, Burton also showed up at his mother's house and confronted the woman.
In the ensuing altercation Burton repeatedly punched the woman in the face, snatched off her wig and pinned her neck against the car, the complaint says. Gerleman got out of the car and tried to intervene, the complaint said.
Burton demanded to know who Gerleman was and then allegedly cursed at the woman and shouted: "… You ain't gonna escape me — I own you!"
Authorities say Gerleman and the woman got back into the car and were trying to drive away when Burton reached inside with a small "silverfish-green handgun" and fired a round at the woman. The bullet missed her and struck Gerleman, the complaint says.
The woman drove to a nearby gas station to call 911 because her cellphone battery was dead, according to the complaint. Paramedics pronounced Gerleman dead at the scene.
Burton fled but was tracked down at a residence in Roseville and arrested.
According to his online biography, Gerleman graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in broadcast journalism and became a sportscaster, working for three Iowa TV stations in 10 years. He made a midcareer switch to the mortgage business in 2006, and worked both as banker and a broker. He later started an online marketing company called Gman Marketing Services LLC.
His death comes as St. Paul and Minneapolis, like other major cities across the country, have been buffeted both by the coronavirus pandemic and a surge in gun violence.
If the shooting death of a 2-year-old earlier this week is ruled a homicide, it would raise the capital city's homicide total to 34 — tied for the deadliest year in its history. Minneapolis has had 82 homicides.
Libor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twitter: @StribJany