We Remember 2019

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. 

 

Gennie Marie Kingbird

Age 41

Ponemah

January 6, 2019

Gennie Marie Kingbird, 41, died in the hospital in Red Lake on January 6. Earlier that day, Gennie’s husband, Jeremiah Kingbird, contacted police and led them to an unconscious Gennie on a back road near Ponemah. Jeremiah stated he was intoxicated the night before and beat up Gennie and left her on the road. She died not long after this at the hospital. Gennie Marie Kingbird is survived by her five children. Jeremiah Kingbird is currently in federal custody.

 

Julie A. Kneifl

Age 72

Woodbury

January 30, 2019

Julie A. Kneifl, 72, was killed by her husband, Harvey Kneifl, 72, on or about January 30, in their Woodbury home. Law enforcement arrived to the house on the morning of January 31, after Harvey failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing. He was on trial for ten felony counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for groping mulitple children while they rode the school bus he drove. On the night of January 30, Harvey stabbed Julie in the neck in their bathroom; after she died, he used the same knife to stab himself in the neck in an attempt to kill himself. When officers arrived the next morning they found Julie’s body and Harvey unconscious. He later told officers that he killed his wife to help her “get to heaven.” Julie suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the last four years. Harvey Kneifl has been charged with second-degree murder.

 

Mary Loons Jansen

Age 46

Blaine

February 8, 2019

Mary Loons Jansen, 46, was shot and killed by her husband, Matthew Jansen, 46, in their Blaine home on February 8. Police received a call from Matthew stating he killed his wife on the evening of February 8, and upon arrival, discovered Mary’s body. Mary had served Matthew with divorce papers around thanksgiving last year, and intended to move out of their shared home on February 9, the day after she was killed. When questioned about what happened, Matthew stated he no longer had to “worry about a divorce now.” According to family members, an incident occurred in December, causing them to remove all firearms from the home. However, law enforcement found a receipt in his truck for a firearm purchased this month. Mary Loons Jansen leaves behind two children. Matthew Jansen has been charged with second-degree murder.

 

Candi Cheryl Goochey

Age 37

Heidi Eve Krotzer-Pierce

Age 40

Nevis

February 14, 2019

Candi Cheryl Goochey, 37, and her sister, Heidi Eve Krotzer-Pierce, 40, were shot and killed by their brother-in-law, Bryce Bellomo, 34, in Nevis on February 14. Candi and Heidi arrived to a home daycare, owned by Bellomo’s mother, on February 14, to pick up their sister and Bellomo’s children. Bellomo arrived at the daycare not long after Candi and Heidi and an argument ensued. Authorities believe the argument arose from the divorce between Bellomo and Candi and Heidi’s sister. Bellomo fired shots outside the daycare, killing Heidi. Bellomo then fled in Heidi’s vehicle, which Candi was still in, leading police on a twenty minute chase. Throughout the chase, Bellomo repeatedly fired at officers, and injured a Hubbard County Sheriff’s Deputy. Bellomo later exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with another officer before killing himself in the driver’s seat. Candi was found dead from a gunshot wound in the back seat of the vehicle.

 

Mark Franklin Jr.

Age 21

St. Paul

March 15, 2019

On March 15, Mark Franklin Jr., 21, was shot and killed by his cousin’s boyfriend, Theotis Thomas, 19, in St. Paul. Prior to the shooting, Mark witnessed Thomas choke his girlfriend, and intervened to break up the assault. Thomas then threatened to return with a gun and shoot everyone before he left the home. A short time later, Thomas returned and fired two shots at Mark, one of which struck him in the face and killed him. Another minor cousin of Mark witnessed the shooting, and several small children were in the home at the time, including Thomas’ infant child. Mark had recently moved back to Minnesota from Iowa, to be with his mother after she was shot by her husband. Theotis Thomas was ineligible to possess a firearm due to a second-degree assault conviction when he was a juvenile. He has been charged with second-degree murder of Mark Franklin Jr.

 

Alexandra Light Jacobs

Age 77

Orono

April 10, 2019

Alexandra, 77, was shot and killed by her husband, Irwin Jacobs, 77. Irwin was found in bed alongside Alexandra, dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Initial media reports of the murder-

suicide focused on Irwin Jacobs’ life, leaving out details concerning Alexandra’s life including her volunteerism and art-making. During her later years, Alexandra displayed signs of dementia and used a wheelchair for mobility. She leaves behind five adult children.

 

Nicole “Nikki” Ann Jazdzewski

Age 41

Duluth

June 2, 2019

Nicole “Nikki” Ann Jazdzewski, 41, was stabbed and killed by her husband, Ryan Jazdzewski, 40, in their Duluth home on June 2. Police arrived at the residence and found Ryan and Nicole’s seven-year old daughter outside covered in blood. Ryan then exited the house, also covered in blood, and admitted to stabbing Nicole a dozen times after an argument. Earlier in the day, Nicole told Ryan she wanted a divorce. When an argument occurred on the night of June 2, Nicole attempted to call 911, but Ryan prevented her from doing so, and told police he stabbed her to stop the call. He also told police he “lost it,” and only stopped stabbing Nicole after their oldest daughter asked him not to kill her mom. Ryan Jazdzewski has been charged with second-degree murder. Nicole leaves behind her three children.

 

Jessica Williams

Age 27 

St. Paul

July 19, 2019

On July 19, Jessica Williams, 27, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Shakee Shabazz Miller-Brantley, 28, in her St. Paul home. Jessica and Miller-Brantley had gotten into an argument earlier in the day, and she told him to return the gun she purchased for him. Miller-Brantley then shot Jessica five times with that gun, killing her. Jessica had recently broken up with Miller-Brantley, and he told police she had kicked him out of her house, where he had recently been living. Jessica’s body was found at the bottom of the stairs in her basement, where Miller-Brantley had carried her. A shirt was covering her face, which Miller-Brantley had placed so her children would not have to see her. Miller-Brantley has a criminal history that includes two previous charges for domestic violence, and one conviction. He also has a charge for assaulting a police officer. Shakee Shabazz Miller-Brantley has been charged with second-degree murder. Jessica Williams leaves behind three children.

 

Crystal Marie Bundy

Age 30

Sauk Rapids

July 27, 2019

Crystal Marie Bundy, 30, was killed by David Lee Williams, Jr., 37, in their home on July 27. According to the criminal complaint, officers arrived to the home early Saturday morning and found Crystal in bed not breathing. The complaint described red and purple bruises on her face, arms, hands and feet, two black eyes, and dried blood around her nose. A preliminary autopsy report listed cause of death from blunt force injuries and strangulation. The manner of death was listed as a homicide. The couple's four minor children - aged 2 to 7 - were present in the home at the time of the homicide. David Lee Williams Jr. has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

 

Darla M. King

Age 47

Bloomington

August 4, 2019

Darla M. King, 47, was stabbed and killed by her husband, John Lawler, 56, in her Bloomington home on August 4. Law enforcement responded to a call at Darla’s home and found her unresponsive and surrounded by a large pool of blood in her kitchen. Lawler, and Darla’s adult son were also in the kitchen. Darla’s son told officers he heard his mother and Lawler arguing and walked into the kitchen and found Darla covered in blood and Lawler on top of her. When her son asked Lawler what he had done he said nothing, but his face “drained of color.” An autopsy found Lawler stabbed Darla four times. Lawler was arrested for domestic assault against Darla and her son in 2015, and again in 2018 for assaulting her son, but both charges were eventually dismissed. A Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) was issued in both instances. John Lawler has been charged with second-degree murder in Darla M. King’s death.

 

Sauda Abubakar Maani

Age 24

Owatonna

August 29, 2019

Sauda Abubakar Maani, 24, died in a car accident in Owatonna on August 29. Louis Bennett, 42, was the driver of the vehicle and also died. Police responded to a call in the early morning of August 29, of Bennett hitting Sauda in his car. When law enforcement arrived, Bennett fled and led them on a chase that ended with the fatal car accident. Bennet has a long history of domestic violence and assault. He had 17 assault charges in the past, two domestic violence charges that were dismissed, one misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, and three felony domestic violence convictions. Bennett was sent to prison for domestic violence against his previous girlfriend for an assault that required her visit to the hospital. She was granted an order for protection against him shortly before his release from prison in 2017.

 

Rebecca “Becky” Lee Carlsrud

Age 61

Owatonna

August 29, 2019

Rebecca (Becky) Lee Carlsrud, 61, was shot and killed by her husband Duane Carlsrud, 62, in their Gary home on August 29. Duane subsequently committed suicide after also killing the family pet. Rebecca is survived by her six children.

 

Mainhia Yang

Age 34

New Brighton

September 7, 2019

Mainhia Yang, 34, was shot and killed by her husband Ge Yang, 51, in her New Brighton apartment on September 7. Ge Yang committed suicide after killing Mainhia. Police were called after a witness saw a man with a gun outside the apartment, before hearing a gunshot.

 

Michelle Mae

Age 35

Swatara

October 3, 2019

Joshua Karjala, 34, strangled and killed Michelle “Shelly” Mae, 35, on or about October 3, in his Swatara home. Michelle lived in Outing, and met Karjala through a dating app. On the night of October 2, the two went on a date. Karjala was arrested on October 5, on a probation
violation for failing to disclose to his employer that he was a predatory
offender, due to a fourth-degree felony criminal sexual conduct conviction in 2016. During the October 5 arrest, police found women’s clothing on his property that was later identified as Michelle’s by her family. On October 8, at the Aitkin County Jail, Karjala told a nurse he “may have killed a girl.” He said he could not remember much due to drug use, but he recalled Michelle allowing him to videotape them having sex, and upon viewing the tape he saw himself choke her to the point of unconsciousness. After a search warrant was issued for Karjala’s residence on October 15, Michelle’s body was found in a
crawlspace of his home. At the time of Michelle’s murder, Joshua was also dating another woman. According to the criminal complaint, the girlfriend stated Joshua had choked and hit her and she was afraid to leave him because of what he would do to someone else. She also stated he had threatened her life in the past. Joshua has a lengthy criminal history including: violation of harassment restraining order, numerous assault charges, a fourth-degree felony criminal sexual conduct conviction, a gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child conviction, and several domestic assault charges. Joshua Karjala has been charged with second-degree murder. Michelle “Shelly” Mae is survived by her three minor children.

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