WALKER -- Cheyenne Anthony Budreau, 21, Cass Lake, pleaded not guilty Monday in Cass County District Court to 10 felony counts in connection with the death Aug. 20 of Faye Marie Nelson in a house fire near Cass Lake.
He faces 10 grand jury indictments, including one first-degree murder count, two second-degree murder counts, three attempted second-degree murder counts, one first-degree arson count and three second-degree assault counts.
Nelson, a 25-year-old Duluth woman, was a house guest at the Jim and Della Jones house in Tract 33 by Cass Lake Aug. 20 when their home burned. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.
According to the court complaint filed against Budreau before the grand jury hearing, Budreau had fought earlier in the evening with the Joneses' son, Andrew.
Witnesses reportedly told investigators Budreau rode around Cass Lake later that night with other people and had threatened to burn down the Jones house. The fire is believed to have occurred after the other people dropped Budreau off by his home late in the night.
Della Jones was burned in the fire. Jim and Andrew Jones were not injured.
Budreau is being held in Cass County Jail pending an April 28 pretrial hearing. No date has been set for a trial.
WALKER -- One person pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court to an amended charge in connection with the Oct. 5 kidnapping and murder of Brian Jenny at Federal Dam. Three people have pleaded not guilty.
Stephanie Dawn Losh, 20, Bena, pleaded guilty Monday to an amended felony aiding and abetting kidnapping count. Sentencing was delayed until after the trials of her co-defendants.
Kenneth Conrad Conger Jr., 16, Federal Dam, and Leah Danielle Jenkins-Harper, 19, Bena, each pleaded not guilty Monday to two grand jury indictments of felony first-degree murder and four of felony second-degree murder.
Conger is being held in Cass County Jail pending a pretrial hearing. Jenkins-Harper is scheduled for a May 21 pretrial hearing and July 10 jury trial.
Stephanie Lynn Day, 20, Burnsville, pleaded not guilty in February to one felony second-degree assault indictment and one felony aiding an offender indictment. A pretrial hearing was continued to May 27.
According to complaints filed in Cass County Court before the grand jury hearing, hunters walking along Peter's Pond Road by Federal Dam found Jenny the morning of Oct. 5 lying in a ditch in a near-death condition. He appeared to have been severely beaten.
Jenny was transported to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale where he died Oct. 7.
Statements taken from Losh and Jenkins-Harper indicate the four defendants attended a party at a cabin in Federal Dam the night of Oct. 4-5 where Jenny and his brother-in-law also were present, though they said they did not know the men's names, according to the complaints.
Jenkins-Harper and Conger left the party with Jenny to look for more beer, carrying a baseball bat with them, according to the statements. Where an alley meets a street in downtown Federal Dam, Conger reportedly struck Jenny once, then handed the bat to Jenkins-Harper and told her to keep Jenny at that location.
While Conger was gone, Jenkins-Harper told officers Jenny pulled two knives on her, allegedly cutting her finger. She said she took both knives away from Jenny by striking him with the bat, once on his leg and once on his back.
When Conger returned, he struck Jenny repeatedly, then told Jenkins-Harper to get a car, the statements indicated. She returned to the party location. Losh drove Jenkins-Harper in Day's vehicle back to the assault site where Conger was repeatedly beating Jenny, the statements continued.
Conger then entered the car and rode back to the party site where Losh stayed in the car, but said she heard what appeared to be a confrontation in the cabin, according to the statements.
Losh drove Jenkins-Harper and Conger back to the assault site. Jenny then was loaded into the car. Losh drove to Peter's Pond Road where they left Jenny in the ditch, the statements indicated.
The complaints state Conger told officers he was in a "blackout" during much of the night and recalled only loading a body into a car and leaving a body in Peter's Pond area.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.