A West St. Paul man accused of strangling his girlfriend last year and taking a “selfie” with her corpse pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder after a nine-day trial in Dakota County.
Marc Amouri Bakambia, 29, will serve a 30-year prison sentence and then face deportation to his native country of Congo, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. Bakambia admitted to killing Dorothy Ann Redd, 24, on Aug. 9, 2014, after Redd tried to end their relationship.
Bakambia had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting Redd days before Redd’s mother found her lifeless body on a bed inside her West St. Paul home. He had been released from jail Aug. 8 on conditions that included having no contact with Redd.
Of the Aug. 6 assault, Redd’s mother later told police that her daughter said she feared for her life and that she was so scared she “pretended like she was dead, but she was getting weak.” But Redd’s sister told police that Redd returned to the jail to pick up Bakambia.
Redd tried to end the relationship after an argument at a Wal-Mart the day before her death, Bakambia told her sister during a phone call while Redd’s family was at the police department. With that information, police arrested Bakambia on Aug. 13 for violating the no-contact order.
Bakambia initially gave conflicting accounts during his first interviews with a West St. Paul investigator, but later acknowledged she was dead, according to a criminal complaint.
Bakambia also left numerous subsequent voice mails for the investigator while in jail, at times speaking as if he were talking to Redd.
“My life don’t have no sense right now,” Bakambia said in one voice mail, according to charges. “But I’m still fighting. I need to know exactly what I did to my fiancée.”
A West St. Paul gas station employee also told police of an encounter with Bakambia in which he made a strangulation motion to his throat and said “my fiancée, my fiancée.”
Investigators later found a photo on Bakambia’s cellphone of him lying next to Redd’s body and said he appeared to be crying.
The additional details were enough for a Dakota County grand jury to indict Bakambia on charges of first-degree murder of a domestic victim and three counts of second-degree murder with intent. Bakambia pleaded guilty Tuesday to one of the second-degree charges.