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Hearing postponed for 'mastermind' in slaying of Willmar grandmother

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The 17-year-old Willmar youth who investigators called the "mastermind" in his grandmother's brutal murder appeared briefly in court on Thursday, the third of three court appearances this week by the suspects in Lila Warwick's death.

The West Central Tribune of Willmar reports that a hearing for Robert Warwick was delayed at his attorney's request. No reason was given for the postponement. During a three-minute court appearance, Warwick sat at the defense table with attorneys and his mother Jennifer, the former daughter-in-law of the victim. He will remain in custody until a probable cause hearing on Sept. 9.

Warwick is one of three Willmar teens charged in the strangulation and stabbing death of his grandmother. He is charged with second-degree murder with intent-not premeditated and liability for crimes of another. In a juvenile delinquency petition filed against Warwick, he was called the mastermind of the plan to rob and kill the elderly woman. He reportedly believed she had a safe in the house that contained $40,000. Warwick admitted giving his grandmother's garage code to Brok Junkermeier, 19, to allow him to gain access to her residence. According to the criminal complaint, Junkermeier killed Warwick while Devon Jenkins, 16, stood watch.

On Monday, the Tribune reported that Jenkins appeared in court with his parents. They sought to have him released to their custody but Eighth District Judge Michael Thompson denied the request.

Jenkins was in court on a probable cause hearing on two charges of second-degree murder. Jenkins told investigators he waited outside Lila Warwick's house in Junkermeier's car but was not involved in the robbery or murder, according to court documents that accompanied the formal filing of charges.

Jenkins and Warwick are both juveniles but could be tried as adults pending certification hearings, which have been postponed until an independent examiner conducts an assessment.

The Tribune also reported that Brok Junkermeier, 19, made a brief court appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court on Tuesday. In a 10 minute hearing, Assistant State Attorney General Matthew Frank said the prosecution was still working on the discovery material for the case.

Junkermeier's next court appearance was set for Oct. 16.

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