Wisconsin man sentenced to 40 years for killing, dismembering St. Paul man found in Lake Superior in 2021

A Wisconsin man has been sentenced in connection with the death and dismemberment of 34-year-old Richard Anthony Balsimo in 2021.

On Monday, 37-year-old Jacob Colt Johnson was sentenced in Cook County Court to 40 years in prison.

Johnson was convicted by a jury of two counts of second-degree murder in August. He was initially charged with one count of second-degree murder on Aug. 16, 2021, in connection with Balisamo’s death. A second count of second-degree murder was added in February of this year, according to court documents.

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43-year-old Robert West and 33-year-old Tommi Hintz helped dump Balsimo’s body into Lake Superior, officials say.

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Richard Anthony Balsimo

According to a criminal complaint, Balsimo was riding in a car with Johnson in the Twin Cities when he brandished a knife and started threatening the other people in the vehicle. Johnson then allegedly shot Balsimo several times; the two other female occupants then fled.

Johnson then took Balsimo’s body up to a property in Douglas County, Wisconsin, where he allegedly dismembered the body and placed it in buckets. The complaint states West admitted to police that he had purchased the buckets and tools used to dismember the victim’s remains, as well as the cement used to fill the buckets.

Law enforcement recovered Richard Balsimo’s body from Lake Superior near Grand Portage, Minnesota, in several separate containers. With the help of a witness who led the suspects onto the lake in his boat, they found three 5-gallon buckets and a tote bag filled with concrete during a two-day operation from July 15-16, 2021.

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West was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to murder and interference with a dead body on Feb. 8. He was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison in St. Cloud for being an accomplice after the fact to murder. West will serve this sentence concurrently with an 18-month sentence for interference with a dead body.

Hintz was sentenced to serve 90 days in either Cook County Jail or a female offender program. She also received a stayed four-year sentence that she will serve if she violates the conditions of her four-year probation. She also received a two-day sentence in Cook Couty Jail, but had credit for two days already served.