Updated: 03/28/2014 8:38 PM
Created: 03/28/2014 4:58 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
The murder trial of Brok Junkermeier, 19, of Willmar got underway Friday.
Junkermeier is accused in the murder of Lila Warwick, 79, on July 29, 2013. Warwick’s body was found in the basement of her home just outside Willmar.
Junkermeier admits he killed Warwick.
"The issue here isn't whether or not Lila Warwick was murdered," said Kent Marshall, Junkermeier's attorney, "she was." But Junkermeier is charged with first degree murder, meaning the killing was premeditated. Marshall says that is going to be the big issue.
"The question is going to be what was said, what was done, and what was meant in the days and weeks prior to that time," he explained outside of the Kandiyohi County Courthouse Friday afternoon.
According to prosecutors, Warwick's own grandson, Robert, helped come up with the plan. They say the motive was money. They also say they have a 4 1/2 hour taped confession from Junkermeier in which he says "he choked her," "tried to break her neck," and "stabbed her repeatedly."
"I think a lot of people are shocked. I think a lot of people are sad," is how Andrea Coleman, who was born and raised in Willmar, put it. Like so many people in her community, Coleman says this type of horror just doesn't happen there.
"It's scary," she said. "I think a lot of people thought about, you know, if I live alone could this happen to me? Because it did happen in our community."
Both Lila Warwick's daughter and granddaughter testified Friday. The trial starts back up Monday and could last more than two weeks.
Robert Warwick is also charged with first degree murder because of his alleged role in the plot, but he's not accused of physically killing his grandmother himself.