We Remember 2020
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.
Joseph Abraham McRunnel
February 15, 2020
Joseph Abraham “Moochie” McRunnel, 39, also known as Perry Joseph Bellcourt II, was stabbed and killed by his girlfriend Zara Case, 35, in their Minneapolis apartment on February 15. In the early morning of February 15, police responded to a call from Joseph and Case’s neighbor that Case broke his window and was attempting to enter his apartment. When officers arrived, they spoke with Case - who was intoxicated - and later Joseph. While officers spoke with Joseph, the neighbor called police again to state that Case was trying to enter his apartment. The officers left when Case returned to the apartment she shared with Joseph. Shortly after, police were contacted a third time by the neighbor who stated Case was outside screaming that her boyfriend was stabbed. When police returned to the scene, officers found Joseph with a stab wound to his chest, along with visible bite marks and bruises. Joseph later died at the hospital due to the stab wound. Case told police she and Joseph were intoxicated and angry when she stabbed him. She also told police she has been addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol for the last 15 years, and had recently left a rehab facility. Zara Case has been charged with second-degree murder.
Abigail Elise Simpson
February 26, 2020
Abigail Elise Simpson, 21, was killed by her boyfriend, Terrion Sherman, 23, in her St. Paul apartment on February 26. Police responded to the apartment after calls of a loud and violent argument between a man and a woman. Upon arrival, officers heard a child crying through Abigail’s apartment door, along with a man saying, “Stay down or I’ll kill you.” When police entered the apartment, they found Sherman and his 2-year-old nephew covered in blood. Abigail was also found bloody and unresponsive with a knife close to her body. While Sherman was being transported to the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, he told officers he was on drugs and broke out of the back window of the police car. He was taken to Regions Hospital, but was soon medically cleared and discharged. Later, while talking to investigators, Sherman said he remembered punching Abigail and hitting her head against a radiator before blacking out. Abigail was also stabbed several times and the medical examiner ruled her cause of death to be from multiple traumatic injuries. Sherman was civilly committed less than a week prior to Abigail’s murder, but he was not held in a secure hospital. Instead, he was connected with various services provided by the county. Sherman was committed previously in 2019. While he initially told officers he was on drugs, in his confession Sherman later said he was not on drugs and did not take his prescribed medication because, “he is not crazy.” Terrion Sherman has been charged with second-degree murder of Abigail Elise Simpson.
Monique Saraya Robbins
February 26, 2020
Monique Saraya Robbins, 28, was killed in her St. Paul apartment by her boyfriend, DeMarea Clay, 24, on February 26. Neighbors called police in the early morning of February 26, to report loud noises coming from Monique's apartment, and a man dragging a woman's body into a car. When officers arrived they found Clay standing outside his vehicle. He told police Monqiue had a seizure while showering, and that she was overdosing on drugs. Officers performed CPR on Monique, who did not have a pulse, before she was transported to a hospital. The drugs Clay said Monqiue had taken were not found in her system. She did have significant bruising and bleeding to her head and face, and her cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation. Clay has a history of documented domestic violence. Two weeks before Monique's death Clay was charged with domestic assault and given a criminal Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) to stay away from her and her apartment building. He was also charged with domestic assault against Monique in September 2019, and police responded to domestic disturbances at her apartment in August and November of that year. Monique had told her friends and family about Clay's controlling behavior, his threats to her life, and that he strangled her. Relatives said Monique recently arranged for her daughter to live with family members because she didn't think her daughter was safe around Clay. Clay's previous girlfriend had a protective order against him for abusing her, which he was charged with violating, but was eventually dismissed. DeMarea Clay has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder. Monique Saraya Robbins is survived by her daughter.
Jackie Ann DeFoe
Kevin Lee Shabaiash Jr.
Age 20 months
March 7, 2020
On March 7, Jackie Ann DeFoe, 27, and her 20-month-old son, Kevin Lee Shabaiash Jr., were killed in their Cloquet home on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation by Jackie’s boyfriend Sheldon Thompson, 33.
During a welfare check on the home, police officers found Jackie’s
body covered with lacerations and blood in a bedroom closet. Kevin’s
body was found in a separate bedroom with “observable bruising to
his head.” Shortly after police discovered the bodies, Thompson called
911 to turn himself in for the murders and was taken into custody. An
autopsy found Jackie died from multiple stab wounds, and was 13
weeks pregnant at the time of death. Kevin was killed due to blunt
force injuries. Thompson has a long history of relationship abuse
including a conviction for misdemeanor domestic assault in 2013, and
gross misdemeanor domestic assault in 2016, both against previous
partners. He also had multiple domestic assault by strangulation
charges that were subsequently dropped. Thompson’s ex-wife had a
protective order and a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO)
against him after several assaults. One assault resulted in a broken
jaw; doctors were initially prevented from performing surgery on her
due to excessive swelling. Thompson received a felony conviction
after he violated his ex-wife’s DANCO in 2017. In 2006, he was charged with second-degree murder but took a plea deal that reduced his conviction to felony seconddegree assault with a dangerous weapon. Sheldon Thompson has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder of Jackie Ann DeFoe and her son, Kevin Lee Shabaiash Jr.
March 10, 2020
On March 10, Yang Liu, 40, was shot and killed by her husband, John Wiseman, 54, in their Maple Grove home. When police officers arrived at the home, multiple witnesses reported Yang and Wiseman had a "volatile" relationship, and they often fought over "money and fidelity." Witnesses described Wiseman as wealthy and mentioned that the couple owns businesses in China. Wiseman also has homes in Minnesota, Nevada, and China. Police were also notified by witnesses that Wiseman was seeking a divorce, but did not want to contribute to a divorce settlement because he, "earned this." Inside the home, police found a letter showing that Wiseman met with an estate planner in February, along with a passport and hidden cash. John Wiseman has been charged with second-degree murder of Yang Liu.
March 10, 2020
On March 10, Pauline Hollman, 58, died from injuries sustained when her boyfriend, Michael Cloutier, 65, stabbed her last month. On February 15, officers responded to a call at a Minneapolis apartment from a man saying someone broke in and stabbed his girlfriend. Cloutier, who lived in the apartment with Pauline, initially denied calling 911 when police arrived. However, upon entering the apartment, officers found Pauline lying on an air mattress in a pool of dried blood. Cloutier became upset and combative with police, and he was taken into custody where he later confessed to the stabbing. Since the blood on the air mattress was dried, authorities believe Pauline was left untreated for several hours. Pauline was transported to a hospital for emergency surgery, but eventually died on March 10. While Michael Cloutier was originally charged with assault, the charges have since been amended to homicide.
Brandon Jose Nieves
South St. Paul
April 2, 2020
Brandon Jose Nieves, 20, was shot and killed by Marcelino Lopez, 19, in South St. Paul, on April 2. Prior to the shooting on April 2, Lopez posted threatening social media messages, including threats to kill, directed at Brandon after he began dating Lopez’s ex-girlfriend. The social media exchanges escalated and Lopez and Brandon met with the intention to "fight." When Brandon arrived at the location, he and a 16-year old friend exited his vehicle. Lopez then took a shotgun from his car and shot the unarmed Brandon and 16-year old, before fleeing. He later called 911 and stated he had shot two people. When police arrived, Brandon was dead. The 16-year old was transported to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest, where he remains in critical condition. Lopez was arrested and told police he had made several death threats to Brandon before April 2. Marcelino Lopez has been charged with second-degree murder of Brandon Jose Nieves, and second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault for shooting the 16-year old boy.
Kevin Logan Jr.
April 19, 2020
Kevin Logan Jr., 31, was shot and killed by Rodney Velho on April 19 in Maple Grove. Kevin arrived to drop off his children for a scheduled supervised visit and celebrate the birthday of their mother. Kevin and Velho, the boyfriend of Kevin's children's mother, got into a verbal argument, and Velho shot Kevin two times. When police officers arrived at the Maple Grove apartment, they found Kevin dead on the kitchen floor. Rodney Velho has been charged with second-degree intentional murder. Kevin Logan Jr. is survived by his two children.
Patricia Ann Valley
April 29, 2020
Patricia "Pat" Ann Valley, 65, was shot and killed by her husband Neal Valley, 67, in their Ham Lake home on April 29. Neal then shot and killed himself. Police responded to a 911 call that provided the address of Patricia and Neal's home and no other information. When officers arrived to the home they heard a gunshot from inside. Once police were able to enter the residence, they found the bodies of Patricia and Neal. Patricia "Pat" Ann Valley is survived by her two adult sons and three grandsons.
Maria Fernanda Bliss Pew
May 2, 2020
Maria Fernanda Bliss Pew, 28, was strangled and killed by her husband, Joshua Fury, 28, in their Maple Grove home on May 2. Fury called police on April 30 to report his wife missing and allowed them to search the home at the time. Searches around the area were conducted over the following two days. At this time, Maria's family and friends told police the couple had problems and that Fury was "controlling and possessive." Maria's mom stated her daughter was planning to leave Fury. During a search on May 2, a police K9 indicated the presence of human remains at the home. After a search warrant was issued, Maria's body was discovered in the crawl space of the house. Fury was arrested. He told police he did not harm his wife and blamed it on one of her former boyfriends. Later, Fury confessed to strangling Maria, putting a plastic bag over her head, and burying her in the house's crawl space. He also told officers he attempted suicide after killing his wife. Joshua Fury has been charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Maria Fernanda Bliss Pew.
Ashli Koren Johnson
June 3, 2020
Ashli K. Johnson, 29, was shot and killed in St. Paul by the father of her unborn child, Clinton Delaney, 28, on June 3. Ashli had been in contact through texts and Facebook messages with Delaney's other girlfriend, who has a child with him. Ashli told the girlfriend that she was pregnant with Delaney's child, and the two arranged to meet to verify the pregnancy through a test on June 2. Early the next morning, on June 3, text message exchanges indicated Ashli was trying to arrange a money drop-off with Delaney and the two began arguing. Two minutes after the last text was sent, 911 received a call reporting shots in the area. Ashli was found dead by police in her "bullet ridden" vehicle a short time later. A week after her murder, a witness told authorities they overheard Delaney say he shot Ashli on June 3, because he was mad at her for “messing things up with his baby mama." Ashli had told friends that she was upset with Delaney for having a girlfriend and that he gave her a sexually transmitted disease. Delaney has a documented history of domestic violence. He has been convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault three times and violated a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order. He was previously charged domestic assault by strangulation on two separate instances, along with a dismissal for felony level domestic assault. Clinton Delaney is charged with second-degree murder. Ashli K. Johnson leaves behind four children, and was pregnant when she was killed.
Richard Alhag Stephen
June 3, 2020
Richard Alhag Stephen, 33, was killed in Moorhead by Cameron St. Claire, 33, on June 3. Richard and his girlfriend were walking home on June 3, when two men and one woman began catcalling Richard’s girlfriend from a parked car. The girlfriend told them to stop “catcalling” her, and as she and Richard walked toward her apartment building, the woman in the car, Erin Sundby, got out and assaulted Richard’s girlfriend. Sundby pulled the girlfriend down by her hair and began punching her. While this was happening, St. Claire and the other man in the vehicle got out and began beating and “pulverizing” Richard. After the assault, St. Claire, Sundby and the other men left, and Richard and his girlfriend went into her apartment. Richard fell asleep on the couch, but when his girlfriend was unable to wake him up she called 911. Richard Alhag Stephen was pronounced dead at the hospital. Cameron St. Claire was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and receiving stolen property. Erin Sundby has been charged with accomplice aiding an offender of 2nd degree murder, accomplice aiding an offender of 3rd degree murder, accomplice aiding an offender of 2nd degree manslaughter, 3rd degree assault and receiving stolen property. The other man involved in the assault has not been identified, arrested, or charged.
Brandon Jerome Salter
June 4, 2020
Brandon Jerome Salter, 27, was shot and killed by his sister's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Frazier, 23, in Minneapolis on June 4. Prior to the shooting, Frazier and his current girlfriend arrived at Brandon's sister's house with the intent to fight her. Brandon's sister then called 911 and asked Brandon to com over, because she was fearful of Frazier. Brandon arrived to his sister's home as she opened the front door and was assaulted by Frazier's girlfriend. The sister told police she heard Frazier repeatedly tell Brandon, "I'm going to shoot you," and saw him with a pistol. After running inside to check on her crying baby, Brandon's sister heard 4-6 gunshots. When she returned outside, she found Brandon on the ground across the street, while Frazier and his girlfriend left the scene. Ryan Frazier was eventually arrested in Chicago last week and charged with second-degree murder. Brandon Jerome Salter is survived by his three-year-old daughter.
Leneesha Helen Columbus
Leneesha LaDell Columbus
Age 4 weeks
July 5, 2020
Leneesha Helen Columbus, 27, was shot and killed in Minenapolis on July 5, by Zachary Robinson, 27, the father of her child. On the night of July 5, Leneesha and Robinson were seen arguing outside of her vehicle in Minneapolis. Leneesha then got in the car and started to drive away when Robinson fired several shots at her. When police arrived, bystanders were attempting life saving measures on Leneesha, but she later died at the hospital. Shortly after the shooting, a man who witnessed the shooting confronted Robinson, who shot the man in the foot. Leneesha was five months pregnant with Robinson's child at the time of her death. Doctors were able to deliver the child, Leneesha LaDell Columbus, but she died after being in intensive care for four weeks. Zachary Robinson was prohibited to possess a firearm when he killed Leneesha due to past criminal convictions. He is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault, and felon in possession of a gun.
Klara Eugenie Wright
July 10, 2020
Klara Eugenie Wright, 72, was stabbed and killed in her Dakota apartment by her husband Joseph Wright, 79, on July 10. Police arrived to the home after Joseph called 911 and said he killed his wife. Upon arrival, officers spoke with Joseph, who explained that he killed his wife and then tried to commit suicide. When officers asked Joseph if Klara was breathing, he stated, “she’s not, she better not be.” A suicide note was found in the apartment, and Joseph had cuts on his wrist. He was charged with second-degree murder and transported to a hospital. Police were informed by the apartment landlord that Klara had dementia. Klara Eugenie Wright is survived by her three children, four grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
August 17, 2020
Yuliya Khort, 47, was shot and killed by her husband, Maksim Krechetov, 44, in their Blaine home on August 17. Before she was killed, Yuliya convinced her husband to let their two young daughters leave the house safely. Krechetov then shot Yuliya before killing himself. While Krechetov was never charged with assaulting Yuliya, he had a long history of abusing her. Yuliya Khort leaves behind two daughters and one son.
Angela Lynn Mesich
August 30, 2020
Angela Lynn Mesich, 47, was shot and killed by her husband, Jason Mesich, 48, in their Bloomington home on August 30. Jason shot Angela in the garage before going outside and shooting two of his neighbors in their front yard. The neighbors were sisters who were loading a moving truck when Jason shot them. One of the sisters, a 29-year-old, was shot three times in the lower body and is in stable condition. The other sister, a 12-year-old, was shot in the head while she was holding her 1-year-old niece and running away from Jason. She remains in critical condition, and her niece was unharmed. When police arrived to the scene, Jason barricaded himself in his home, and exchanged gunfire with officers. He fired over 40 rounds at police, and was later taken into custody unharmed. In 2015, Jason was charged with domestic assault, which was eventually dismissed. Jason Mesich is being held on charges consisting of probable cause second-degree homicide, second-degree homicide, and first-degree assault.
Lauren Summer Koffi-n’guessann
West St. Paul
September 4, 2020
Lauren Summer Koffi-n’guessan, 22, was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Steven Buford, 21, on September 4, in West St. Paul. Police were called to an apartment building in West St. Paul on the night of September 4, in response to a couple arguing. When officers arrived, they heard a gunshot, and found Lauren with a wound to her head in the parking lot. Buford shot and killed Lauren before attempting to steal another woman's car in the parking lot. The woman, and her two young children, all witnessed Buford shoot Lauren before he ran to their car with Lauren's 15-month-old child in his arms. He threw Lauren's child at the woman in the car, entered the backseat, and told her to drive, but was arrested by police before he could flee. Steven Buford is charged with second-degree murder (with intent), first-degree attempted aggravated robbery and possession of a firearm by ineligible person. Lauren Summer Koffi-n’guessan leaves behind her
Keona Sade Foote
Miyona Zayla Miller
September 10, 2020
Keona Sade Foote, 23, and her two-year old daughter, Miyona Zayla Miller were shot and killed by Keona's ex-boyfriend, Renard Carter, 29, on September 10. Police report that Keona was strangled and both she and Miyona died from trauma. Keona was pregnant with Carter's child at the time she was killed. Carter had recently made social media posts threatening to kill the mothers of his children and multiple witnesses reported hearing Carter make threats in person. Friends and family became worried on September 12, when they had not heard from Keona in a couple of days, and entered her apartment to find her and Miyona dead. A warrant was then issued for Carter, who was on probation after he pled guilty last year to felony domestic violence no contact order violation, and was sentenced to prison. He was released from prison in April 2020. Videos of Keona's killing were posted to Carter's social media. Carter was eventually apprehended in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 13, where it is believed he traveled to kill another ex-girlfriend, and mother of his children. When police arrived to arrest Carter at a hotel, he opened the door holding a BB gun. He was shot multiple times by officers. Carter livestreamed a portion of this incident online. He is currently in the hospital in South Carolina, but will be extradited to Minnesota on two charges of second-degree murder.
November 12, 2020
On November 12, Nigar Mammadzada, 29, was shot and killed in her Crystal home by her ex-boyfriend, Erik Eggleston, 38. That day, Nigar had dropped off her daughter, whom she shared with Eggleston, at a babysitter and her mother at work before returning to home. Later that night, when Nigar's mother came back from work, she found Nigar dead from gunshot wounds in the home office. Nigar had recently broken up with Eggleston, but he had the garage code to gain access into the home. Eggleston was found that night in front of a friend's home in Oak Grove, with self-inflicted wounds in an apparent suicide attempt. A car parked in the driveway of the friend's house was on loan to Nigar from a car dealership, and contained a shotgun covered in blood and several shells. Nigar Mammadzada leaves behind her young daughter. Erik Eggleston is charged with second-degree murder.
Kim Laen Theng
November 17, 2020
Kim Laen Theng, 54, was killed due to blunt force injuries in her Minneapolis home on November 17. Police initially ruled Kim’s death “suspicious,” before officially declaring it a homicide on January 6. Police have yet to publicly charge or name any suspects. Family members say Kim was in an abusive relationship and lived with the man at the time of her killing. Kim Laen Theng leaves behind at least one adult daughter.
Loretta J. Billman
Grand Lake Township
November 30, 2020
Loretta J. Billman, 62, was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Robert Kerr, 55, in their home in Grand Lake Township on November 30. Kerr then shot and killed himself. They were both found by relatives and coworkers on the morning of November 30, when they did not show up for work.
Encarncion Gutierrez Quixan
December 2, 2020
Encarncion Gutierrez Quixan, 47, was killed by her boyfriend, Victor Marales (also known as Roberto Vasquez Jr.), 28, in their Ashby apartment on December 2. Police were notified by Marales's friend who stated that Marales was acting strangely. Marales told the friend he burned down his apartment and alluded that someone was still inside when the fire was started. When police and firefighters arrived there was an active ongoing fire. Encarncion's body was found inside. Marales later admitted to police that he beat Encarncion to death with a dumbbell as she slept, before setting fire to the apartment. Victor Manuel Marales (also known as Roberto Vasquez Jr.) was charged with two counts of felony second-degree murder and one felony count of first-degree arson.
Julio Cesar Guadalupe Rodriguez
December 15, 2020
Julio Cesar Guadalupe Rodriguez, 15, was stabbed and killed by his mother's husband, Jaime Vaca, 27, in their Austin home on December 15. Vaca was physically attacking Julio's mother, Virginia Rodriguez, in their bedroom when Julio broke down the door and intervened to stop Vaca from strangling Virginia. Vaca then grabbed a knife and stabbed Julio. He also stabbed Virginia, who was found by police in the front yard bleeding from a neck wound. Vaca then locked himself in the bathroom with a knife, and later told officers he had intended to kill himself. There were five other children, all younger than Julio, present in the home at the time. Virginia Rodriguez remains hospitalized from her injuries. Jaime Vaca was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
Todd Anthony Gerleman
December 21, 2020
Todd Anthony Gerleman, 56, was shot and killed by Glenn Burton, 40, on December 21, in St. Paul. Todd was accompanying his friend, whom Burton was dating, when Burton shot Todd in the face. On the 21st, Burton’s girlfriend, Todd and other friends arrived at her home to help repair property damage committed by Burton. However, when the group arrived, they saw Burton’s car parked outside. The girlfriend and Todd then went to Burton’s mother’s home to request she call her son and ask him to leave the girlfriend’s house. Burton arrived at his mother’s home when his girlfriend was walking to her car, and began physically assaulting her. After noticing Todd in the passenger seat of the car, Burton yelled to his girlfriend, “You ain’t gonna escape me — I own you!,” before pulling out a gun. Burton shot at his girlfriend, who stated she felt the bullet pass by her face, but instead hit Todd in the arm. The girlfriend was able to get into the car and attempted to flee, but Burton shot Todd again. The woman later told police that she had been dating Burton for two weeks and he recently “became very possessive and physically abusive.” Glenn Burton was charged with attempted murder of his girlfriend and intentional second-degree murder in Todd Anthony Gerleman’s death.