Updated: 04/02/2014 7:51 AM
Created: 04/01/2014 8:49 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson
WARNING: This article contains graphic details.
Nineteen-year-old Brok Junkermeier says he strangled and stabbed 79-year-old Lila Warwick in her home in Willmar, and Kandiyohi County prosecutors say Warwick’s own grandson helped plan the crime. On Tuesday, a jury listened to Junkermeier admit to the murder and now must decide if it was premeditated, making it first-degree murder.
Three of Warwick's family members walked out of the courthouse not wanting to talk. They spent the day watching hours of a taped interview with Junkermeier just after he was arrested. He described how he and Robert Warwick planned to kill Warrick for money. Brok's lawyer, Kent Marshall, says the tape said it all.
"It's chilling; there's nothing good about this case," Marshall said.
In the interview, Junkermeier agreed to speak with police after being read his rights. The interview gives a clear timeline of his whereabouts leading up to the murder. Nearly an hour into the interview, investigators tell Junkermeier they know Robert Warwick organized the killing of his grandmother. They know he is involved, and they tell him he needs to come clean. Minutes later, Junkermeier admits to the murder.
"But, as I told the jury in my opening remarks, that doesn't mean he's guilty of every charge that has come down in the indictment," Marshall said.
Junkermeier described the brutal details in the taped interview. He said he surprised her in her garage, slashed both of her hands and forced her back into her house. He said he made her write out a $1,500 check. Then he brought her to the basement where he choked her until she fell to her knees. Once he thought she was unconscious he said he stabbed her in stomach and ribs with the knife going through her to the floor.
Marshall argues there are two sides to Junkermeier.
"I've said this throughout this case that in many ways he's a good kid, and there's no question about what he's done -- you heard the evidence. Clarence Darrell said, 'We might hate the sin but never the sinner'" Marshall said.
The trial will start back up at 9 a.m. Wednesday.