We Remember 2009

We Remember is a memorial to Minnesota’s victims of intimate partner homicide. Each of these victims is someone’s child, parent, sibling, family member, intimate partner, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. 

Tina Marie Tracy

18

Virginia

January 11

On the night of January 9, Tina was in a car with her boyfriend, Randon Konecny, on Highway 7 near Iron, Minnesota. He was driving about 50 miles per hour while they apparently were arguing. Tracy "fell" from the car, never gained consciousness, and died two days later after having been airlifted to a hospital in Duluth. There was insufficient evidence for the county attorney to press charges against Konecny.

Brittany Givens-Copeland

24

Bloomington

January 25

Adam Williams lured Brittany Givens-Copeland to his Burnsville apartment and then ambushed her at the door. He strangled her with neckties. Afterward he committed suicide by setting fire to his apartment. Brittany had dated Williams a short time but had decided to end the relationship. Brittany is survived by her son, Christian, who was four months old at the time of her death.

Sharon Kathleen Nyren

67

Fairhaven Township

February 24

Dale M. Nyren shot and killed his wife, Sharon in their home with a .22 caliber revolver. Dale admitted having an argument with Sharon, he first shot her in the knee and then a few minutes later, he shot her in the head. Dale is charged with second degree murder. Dale Nyren pled guilty to second-degree murder charges in August. Sharon is survived by three sons, five grandchildren, a great grandchild, and siblings.

Jennifer Linnear

26

St. Paul

March 5

Whitney Tanee Kizart, who was the girlfriend of Jennifer's husband, Robert Linnear, stabbed Jennifer when Jennifer and Robert went to her apartment. Kizart met them outside her apartment armed with a kitchen knife. During the confrontation, Kizart stabbed Jennifer, penetrating her heart and lungs. When Jennifer arrived at the hospital, she was unconscious, had no pulse, and was pronounced dead.  Jennifer is survived by five children between the ages of 2 and 10. Another daughter, age 1 1/2, had died in the summer of 2008 from leukemia. Kizart has been charged with second-degree murder. Whitney T. Kizart plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of Jennifer Linnear.

Savang Sath

27

Big Lake

March 28

Savang died from two gunshot wounds to his head after he confronted his mother's boyfriend, Peter Tek, when Tek was physically fighting with her. His mother had suffered head injuries. After Tek shot Savang, he kidnapped Savang's mother and engaged in a police chase down I-94. After Tek was stopped and police engaged in negotiations, he released Savang's mother who was then hospitalized. Tek stayed in the car and committed suicide with the same gun that he had used to kill Savang.

Heather Rose McPherson

24

Plymouth

April 19

Heather went to the McDonald's in Maple Grove where she had agreed to meet Sedric Jerome Larkins.  Heather was about to end the relationship with Sedric. While still in the parking lot, Sedric shot her. After she fell to the ground, Sedric shot her at least once more. He fled the scene and quickly was seen speeding on the interstate where he was pulled over. When the police officer approached the car, he found Sedric dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Heather is survived by her nine-year old daughter, Alexandra, her parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Jody Lee Morrow

38

Albert Lea

June 21

On June 21 at 1:00 a.m. Chad Jamie Gulbertson went to Jody’s home in violation of the order for protection that Jody had obtained on June 1st. He killed her by hitting her in the head with a ball peen hammer. Legal documents show that he had physically abused and threatened to kill her in the past. Gulbertson turned himself in to the police later that morning. The police found Jody lying on the floor in front of her wheelchair. The floor and the wheelchair were covered in blood. Gulbertson has been found guilty of first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse, second-degree intentional murder and second-degree murder while violating an order for protection. Chad Gulbertson was sentenced to life in prison. Jody is survived by two sons, ages 10 and 12.

Erica Ann Wilson

38

Circle Pines

July 30

Erica had left her partner of 25 years, James H. Schwartzbauer, a week earlier. She had not told him where she was going and left behind her cell phone. He tracked her down less than a week later. Neighbors heard them arguing on the evening of July 29. Early the next morning, Schwartzbauer was waiting to confront her in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Neighbors heard them arguing, one saw him grab her and throw her against a car with a gun to her head. Neighbors started shouting and called 911. He moved Erica into a breezeway. Neighbors heard gunshots. Schwartzbauer murdered Erica and then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. Erica is survived by three adult sons, a sister, and her mother.

Candice L. Ouellette

38

Harris

August 5

Douglas Ouellette strangled his wife, Candice, in the kitchen of his home while his frightened twin daughters hid upstairs and called 911. Douglas ran away to a barn on their land and hanged himself. Candice had obtained an OFP and filed for divorce in June. At that time, the sheriff took Douglas's guns from him because he had threatened suicide and because Candice became concerned when she saw that he had loaded his guns with enough ammunition to kill everyone in the family. Candice is survived by her eight year old twin daughters, her ten year old son, her parents, and two siblings.

Officer Richard Crittenden 

57

North St. Paul 

September 7

Previous to September 7th , Devon Dockery was arrested for violating the order on May 18th and again on August 26th. On September 6th,   Dockery had already fled when the police arrived. Dockery had a long history of abuse against his estranged wife, Stacy Terry. The criminal complaints indicate that he had physically abused and made terroristic threats against her over the past nine years and she had obtained at least four Orders for Protection against him. Officer Richard Crittenden responded to a call at the home of Stacy Terry for a violation of an Order for Protection which was issued in May against Devon Dockery. On the morning of September 7th, Stacey Terry called the police because she feared Dockery was inside her apartment waiting to ambush her and her daughter.  When Officer Crittenden, and another officer, along with Stacey and her daughter entered the apartment, Dockery charged at them with an accelerant-soaked flaming rag. Officer Crittenden pushed Stacey and her daughter into a safe place in the kitchen while he and the other officer fought Dockery in the living room. Dockery burned Officer Crittenden on his head. In the melee, Dockery was able to grab the officer’s gun and shoot Officer Crittenden in the head at close range. The other officer also suffered a gunshot wound to her arm as she and Dockery exchanged gun shots. Both Officer Crittenden and Dockery were pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Richard Crittenden is survived by a son, stepdaughter, wife and four grandchildren.

Pamela A. Taschuk

48

Lino Lakes

October 1

In the two months prior to her death, Pamela tried to protect herself from her abusive husband, Allen Taschuk. Over their 23-year marriage he had hit, punched, pushed, and held her captive many, many times and had threatened to kill her at least four times. On August 26, Allen was arrested for domestic assault and false imprisonment. Two days later he was released from jail without conditions after posting $5,000 bail. Pamela obtained an Order for Protection on September 10 and filed for divorce on September 25. After she returned to her home on October 1st from a support-group meeting at a battered women’s shelter, Allen came to her home and shot her, called 911, and then shot himself. She is survived by her sons, Ryan and Josh, her parents, her siblings, and three stepsons, as well as other dear family members and friends.

Lori Roberts 

49

Doran

October 2 

On October 2nd, Lori Roberts was found dead from a gunshot wound. Wilkin County authorities have ruled the death a homicide. The family of Lori Roberts says there is no doubt that Jeffrey Silvernail killed her. They say the Jeffery Silvernail  was there when she was shot and then made the 911 call in the morning. Lori Roberts had recently broken up with the Silvernail. Jeffrey Silvernail has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree intentional murder.

Matthew David Albert 

27 

Shooks 

October 21

On October 20, Betsy Marie Hanks, shot her partner, Matthew David Albert, once in the head while he was in bed. Matthew died on October 21 at a Twin Cities hospital without every regaining consciousness. He is survived by four minor children, ages 6 years, 5 years, 3 years and 18 months. Hanks was convicted of first- and second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.

Jean A. Wassenaar

67

St. Paul

November 2

Gerald Wassenaar killed his wife, Jean A. Wassenaar. The police found Jean in her home with multiple traumatic injuries to her head and neck. Ramsey county authorities have charged Gerald with unintentional second-degree murder. Jean had a long history of volunteerism in Minneapolis. She is survived by one son. Gerald Wassenaar was found not guilty in the death of his wife Jean Wassenaar by reason of mental illness. The Ramsey County Attorney's Office said Thursday that it has asked that Wassenaar be considered mentally ill and dangerous, and be placed under civil commitment to a secure psychiatric facility.

Kathryn Rose Anderson

19

Morris

December 3

Katie had moved from Morris to the Twin Cities earlier this year to attend Le Cordon Bleu College where she was studying to be a pastry chef. Everyone knew how much she loved fishing, hunting, and wintry weather. After Ryan Hurd, her estranged boyfriend, had assaulted her on October 29th, Katie obtained a no-contact order in Dakota County. He apparently had assaulted her earlier in October 2009. On December 3rd, a passerby found Katie lying in a ditch on a gravel road outside Owatonna. The autopsy indicates that Hurd had stabbed her 109 times and she had deep abrasions on her body consistent with being thrown onto a gravel surface and sliding along the surface. She died from both the wounds and exposure. Hurd left the state and went back to his family in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he was apprehended. He has confessed to stabbing her and leaving her. Ryan Hurd was convicted on all five counts of murder, including premeditated murder in the first degree. Hurd was sentenced to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Trudy Kline Propps

62

Stillwater

December 11

Trudy was trying to get her husband Gerald Propps to the hospital. She believed he was "out of his mind," according to the 911 call she made, because he was dehydrated and in need of nutrition. While on the 911 call, Gerald shot her in the back. Trudy's daughter Beth dragged her out of the apartment as she continued to talk to the 911 dispatcher. When the police arrived, Gerald shot his gun again and refused to put it down. The police shot him dead. Trudy was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours after the incident began. Trudy is survived by three children and six grandchildren.

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