Man indicted for murder of Waite Park woman

A grand jury has returned an indictment against a man accused of killing a woman inside her Waite Park apartment earlier this year.

According to the Stearns County Attorney’s Office, a grand jury indicted 28-year-old Jarquez Javon Bedford on two charges of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Andrea Cottew.

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Bedford had already been charged last month with second-degree murder, which carries a penalty of up to 40 years in prison if convicted. A first-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison.

Officers found Cottew dead in the living room of her Park Meadows apartment on Feb. 6. Her death was determined to have been from cuts to her neck.

Investigators found a bloody kitchen knife in her bedroom, and surveillance video showed Cottew had let Bedford into the building the previous day, court documents state. Records then showed Bedford used Cottew’s key fob to get in and out of the building but Cottew was never seen again on camera.

Court documents state that Bedford’s DNA was found on the knife, as well as other items in Cottew’s apartment. The investigation remains ongoing.

Bedford remains in custody on $4 million unconditional bail or $2 million conditional bail.

His first appearance on the new charges was set for Wednesday afternoon. He’s then expected to have another court hearing in July.