Man indicted on 1st-degree murder charge in 1984 cold case

A man who was arrested and charged earlier this year in connection with a 39-year-old murder case has now been indicted on one count of first-degree murder.

A Hennepin County grand jury returned the indictment Thursday for Matthew Russell Brown, 66, who’s accused of killing Robert A. Miller at a Minneapolis apartment in 1984.

Court records state Miller was killed the morning of July 19, 1984. Two women who were at the scene told police a man had broken into the apartment on Girard Avenue South and attacked them with a knife. Miller had suffered numerous stab wounds to his face, head and torso, according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators saw that the apartment’s kitchen door, which led to a back exit, was open and determined that this was likely how the suspect escaped. They also found blood that they believed came from the suspect, according to the complaint.

In March, investigators used a plastic cup that Brown had used to obtain a sample of his DNA, which came up as a match with blood found at the crime scene.

FBI agents and Minneapolis homicide investigators interviewed Brown, who was living in Illinois at the time, in early June. He was arrested on his warrant in Illinois until he could be extradited to Minnesota, police said.

Brown was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary a few weeks later in connection with the murder.

With Monday’s indictment, Brown could face life in prison without parole — the default sentence in Minnesota for a first-degree murder conviction.

Brown remains in custody in Hennepin County in lieu of $2 million bail. His next hearing is set for Nov. 9.