St. Paul Woman Found Guilty in Husband's Death

Updated: 05/28/2014 6:27 AM
Created: 05/27/2014 12:21 PM
By: Cassie Hart

A jury has convicted a St. Paul woman Tuesday in the murder of her husband, who was a member of the Air National Guard.

The jury found 25-year-old Heather Horst guilty of aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit first- and second-degree murder after less than two hours of deliberation.

Brandon Horst was 25 years old when he died from a single gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 5, 2013. 

Heather Horst told police she found her husband with a lot of blood coming from his head; she told investigators she had no idea what happened.

The state argued Heather Horst's goal was "selfish and greedy." Witnesses testified Horst's goal was to collect more than half a million dollars in life insurance money that her husband held from his job in the military.

The criminal complaint says Heather Horst offered to share the money with her mentally ill friend Aaron Allen if he pulled the trigger.

Allen has pleaded guilty to the shooting and was facing life without parole, but he struck a deal with the state to testify against Horst and on the stand, under oath, he told the jury Horst had planned the murder.

Allen is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Mark and Brenda Horst said their son was a happy person, and he often put other's needs before his own. "He was a shining light in my life, and he will be missed every day," Brenda Horst said.

Lt. Col. John Paul Echert, with the 133rd Air Lift Wing, said Brandon Horst was highly respected. " In all my years as a chaplain, in my opinion, no death of a member has so terribly impacted and had lasting effects as that of Brandon Horst."

Heather Horst will spend the rest of her life behind bars. She is not eligible for parole.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Scattered Clouds
68° | 52°
  • Feels like: 54° F
  • Wind: ENE 12mph
  • Humidity: 38%
  • Sun Chance of showers
    62° | 40°
  • Mon Windy with showers at times
    50° | 35°
  • Tue Mostly cloudy and windy
    50° | 34°
  • Wed Sunshine
    46° | 30°