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Charges: Man taunted wounded victim on camera before 'savage' murder

Ivan Contreras-Sanchez is also accused of helping dump the body in a farming culvert.

A Minneapolis resident has been charged over his alleged role in the "savage beating" and subsequent death of a man this past March.

Ivan Contreras-Sanchez, 40, was charged in a Hennepin County court Friday with intentional second-degree murder, with prosecutors saying that he also helped move the victim's body from a house in Minneapolis to a farming culvert in Dakota County — where it was found nearly a month after the murder.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim, a man identified only as "M.M.," was reported missing by his family on April 4, 2021. 

"The family had been told by people at a homeless camp that M.M. had gotten into a fight with another male and was hit over the head with a shovel, killing him," the charges say.

When M.M.'s body was found almost three weeks later on April 26, police also located a "device" at the scene that was linked to the defendant's email address. 

Investigators used this to track the suspect's movements to a Speedway gas station in Inver Grove Heights, charges say. "Digital evidence" from the station showed the two suspect vehicles — a black Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and a light colored SUV — arriving together. 

Per the charges, two Hispanic males then entered the store, with one purchasing a Lipton Brisk fruit punch. Authorities noted that an unopened bottle of Lipton Frisk fruit punch was later found near M.M.’s body

The Malibu, which authorities say was used to move the body, was eventually tracked to a residence on Irving Avenue North in Minneapolis. On November 2, Contreras-Sanchez was taken into custody while coming out of the garage there. 

The arrest followed months of investigations as well as tips from an informant and talks with multiple witnesses, who linked Contreras-Sanchez to the crime, the charges indicate. 

While the defendant initially denied any involvement in the victim's death, he eventually admitted to driving the Malibu Maxx that was used to transport the body. 

He also said that he saw M.M. "get assaulted by multiple people" at a house on the 400 block of 36th St, telling investigators that he observed one of the suspects "take a hammer to the victim's hand" and another suspect "hit him on the head with a pipe." 

Additionally, Contreras-Sanchez said he saw two of the suspects bringing a "bundle" downstairs, "which he thought they put in his vehicle." The victim's body was subsequently driven to Dakota County and disposed of, according to the criminal complaint.

The charges also say that, at the end of his interview with investigators, Contreras-Sanchez said that he "had videos on his phone that he wanted to show them."

Prosecutors say the videos show a "severely" beaten M.M. "with his eyes swollen shut and blood covering his clothes and face.," talking with the defendant, who made the recordings. 

One of the exchanges is transcribed as follows, with the charges noting that M.M. was wearing a blue hat in the videos:

Defendant: That's what you get for being a snitch, right? 

Blue Hat: (unintelligible) 

Defendant: That's what you get for being a snitch, yes or no? 

Blue Hat: Yeah, man. 

Defendant: Why? 

Blue Hat: For being a liar, man. 

Defendant: Thank you. Alright gentlemen, well, here we are. You all be the judge. You all know that people who are f--king snitches don't belong any f--king place.

Contreras-Sanchez is facing up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Per county jail Hennepin County jail records, he is currently in custody.

It's not yet clear if anyone else has been charged in the connection with the murder. Bring Me The News has reached out to the county attorney's office for more information. 

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