2nd defendant pleads guilty in Inver Grove Heights murder

A Minneapolis woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her role in a man’s death last fall in Inver Grove Heights.

Fotini Anest West, 25, entered her guilty plea on Friday in connection with the Sept. 24 shooting death of 43-year-old Michael Chang-Beong Lee, Dakota County court records show.

In her petition to plead guilty, West claimed she had no recollection of the crime but acknowledged “there is a substantial likelihood I will be found guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt … if the state’s evidence is presented against me at trial.”

Another defendant in the case, 25-year-old Logan Slack, also pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder earlier this week. West and Slack are scheduled to learn their sentences on May 3; they each face up to 40 years in prison.

As previously reported, a criminal complaint states an officer spoke to two people inside a vehicle near a home on the 2100 block of 78th Court East and they told the officer that an SUV they didn’t recognize had just driven off from the home where Lee was found dead. A short time later, another officer saw an SUV matching the witnesses’ description and stopped it near 80th Street and Barbara Avenue.

The officer identified the SUV’s driver as Slack and saw the passenger, West, had blood on her arms and chest.

The complaint notes the officer initially believed West had been assaulted, and West said an Asian man had attacked her and Slack brought her to safety. However, while investigating, the officers at Lee’s home aired that Lee was found dead and asked the officer that stopped Slack and West to check their shoe soles to see if they matched the bloody prints found at the home.

Slack and West were then taken to the police department, where Slack said he had dropped West off at Lee’s home for an erotic massage, the complaint states. However, West came outside a short time later and said Lee assaulted her and wouldn’t pay for the services.

That’s when Slack grabbed a gun from the SUV, forced their way into the home and ran after Lee, who hid in a bathroom. The complaint states that Slack then fired his gun and shot Lee in the back, saying Lee had tried to grab West through a hole in the bathroom door. They then grabbed Lee’s phone to stop him from calling 911 and make sure they got paid, then fled.

Police found the gun and Lee’s cellphone in the SUV, the complaint adds.