A man has been found guilty of the murder of a Minneapolis artist and activist, a crime he committed when he was just 14 years old.
A Hennepin County jury on Tuesday found Brooklyn Park's Demetrius Wynne, now 21, guilty of 2nd-degree unpremeditated murder with intent.
The jury found him not guilty of a second charge of 2nd-degree murder without intent while committing a felony, a charge that related to him allegedly breaking into her home before the killing.
Spiller's murder went unsolved for several years. She was killed in July 2015 after an intruder broke in through the back windows of her home on Dupont Avenue North, before stabbing and strangling her to death in her bedroom.
Investigators got a breakthrough in 2019, when Wynne was arrested on an unrelated matter, and his fingerprints matched that of the prints left on Spiller's window.
DNA found under Spiller's fingernails fit a profile of a male in Wynne's family, with Wynne admitting during the court case that it was his DNA and fingerprints.
Per KARE 11, he said he was surprised that his prints were on the window but said it was likely his prints were elsewhere in the house because Spiller had let him in to use the bathroom, noting he sometimes walked Spiller's dog.
He claimed his DNA was under Spiller's fingernails was because he was with her the day before and she stumbled and fell, and he caught her.
The 68-year-old was the vice-chair of the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association and an artist known for her glasswork and lampshades, in addition to being a local activist.
“Nearly seven years have passed since this tragedy occurred. While the guilty verdict cannot undo the heartbreak and devastation the victim’s family and loved ones have endured, my hope is that this helps in the healing process,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Freeman says his office will be seeking a sentence of 30 years imprisonment, a departure from the 306 months in Minnesota sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is set for Apr. 28.
Spiller's family was in attendance as the verdict was read out, and spoke afterwards: