Suspect in 95-Year-Old Man's Death Lived Down the Street from Victim

March 06, 2018 03:45 PM

An Anoka man has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection to the homicide of a 95-year-old man.

Twenty-seven-year-old Isaiah Montrell Thomas made his first court appearance Friday. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.


READ: Suspect Arrested in Murder of 95-Year-Old Anoka Man

According to the criminal complaint, Anoka police and deputies from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office were called to a home on the 1200 block of Fifth Avenue at 10:47 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28, on a report of a man who had been found dead.

Police say the man, identified as Al Loehlein, was found dead in his bedroom. He had been living alone since his wife died 10 years ago and was last seen by family members who dropped him off at home Thanksgiving evening. Family members then found him dead Monday morning, according to the criminal complaint.

Police say Loehlein appeared to have been beaten to death; they say he had severe injuries to his head and face and say blood was found throughout the room. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office says the cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was homicide.

The medical examiner believed Loehlein had likely been dead for two days before he was found, according to the criminal complaint.

During a search of the home, investigators say they found a fingerprint on a wooden box that matched Thomas, who lived at an apartment building down the street from Loehlein’s home.

Police also learned that Thomas had pawned a small mantle clock that family members say belonged to Loehlein. Family members also said two pocket watches had been taken from Loehlein’s home.

On Wednesday, police stopped a vehicle in Coon Rapids in which Thomas was a passenger. He was arrested, and police say he had in his possession a gold pocket watch, according to the complaint.

A witness also told police that Thomas had called him Saturday, Nov. 26, and asked for a ride; Thomas was less than a block from the victim's home. The next day, Thomas contacted that witness and said he messed up and that he was planning to flee to California. 

Police say someone had reported seeing a man in the victim’s driveway on Saturday morning.

“We’ve been able to make a timely arrest in this tragic case, a case in which a good man who lived a good life was violently taken from this world through an evil act of violence,” Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart said during a press conference Friday.

Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said that because the killer showed no mercy to the victim, the state will show no mercy to the killer.

“The reaction by all of us, certainly in the law enforcement community as well as the community in general, is that I think we are outraged and I think we are frustrated at having someone live in their home for the good long years of 95 years, only to be taken by someone whose main intent appeared to be greed to rob this particular house,” Palumbo said during the news conference.

Palumbo said prosecutors will be seeking the maximum sentence in the case.


Jennie Lissarrague

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