More than a year after her husband was shot and killed, a 70-year-old Hill City woman has been indicted and arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder for his death.
An Aitkin County grand jury Thursday indicted Ardelle Hope Manthey on a charge of premeditated first-degree murder for the March 5, 2003, shooting death of Francis Darrell Manthey, 69, at their home in Hill City.
Later Thursday, Ardelle Manthey was arraigned on the first-degree murder charge in Aitkin County District Court. Her bail was set at $1 million. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday. She is being held in the Aitkin County jail.
Ardelle Manthey's arrest comes after more than a year of investigation into her husband's murder. Aitkin County Attorney Thomas F. Murtha said in general such cases take time when investigators are dealing with a situation where the suspect covered his or her tracks, established alibis and destroyed evidence.
"This case would fall into that general category," said Murtha.
Murtha said this case was unusual in that there wasn't a lesser charge filed against Ardelle Manthey before the case was presented to a grand jury.
"I wanted to present the facts to the grand jury before I jumped the gun. I wanted to make sure this was done right," said Murtha. "I didn't want to take a chance I would be charging the wrong person."
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