There's no penalty that would be sufficient for the brutal slaying of Erika Dalquist. Twenty-seven-year-old William Myears of Brainerd pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder Thursday and was sentenced to nearly 21 years in prison with the last one-third of that term possibly served on supervised probation.
The investigation into the death of the 21-year-old woman found that she suffered from blunt force trauma created by at least three blows to the head.
Compounding this horrific crime was the fact that Myears led law officers on a wild goose chase, misdirecting them to the Cuyuna Range mine pits as they searched for her body. Her remains were eventually found, more than a year after her murder, on Myears' grandparents' property, east of Brainerd.
The loss of Dalquist's life was a horrible tragedy and a devastating loss for the Dalquist family. There is small solace in the fact that Dalquist's parents, relatives and friends will not have to sit through a painful trial that might have lasted four to six weeks.
At least it's certain that Myears, who suffers from a neurological disorder that left him paralyzed from the waist down, will pose no threat to anyone for the next 20 years and likely longer.
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