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Minneapolis woman pleads guilty to killing boyfriend in intoxicated rage

The 36-year-old woman fatally stabbed her boyfriend on Feb. 15.
Joseph McRunnel

Joseph McRunnel

A Minneapolis woman pleaded guilty to the murder of her boyfriend, confessing Friday in Hennepin County District Court that she fatally stabbed 39-year-old Joseph "Moochie" McRunnel in an intoxicated rage on Feb. 15. 

Zara Jo Case, 36, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge and remains in jail without bail. She is due to be sentenced June 9. 

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to their apartment on the 900 block of 15th Ave. SE – near the University of Minnesota – three times the morning of the murder. McRunnel suffered a deep stab wound that pierced the right side of his heart. 

Case, during an interview with police, said: "I stabbed him. That’s all there is to it. We were f****** s***faced, angry. He accidentally got stabbed and now he’s dead. I am going to prison forever."

Prior to that, however, police documented Case being hysterical and yelling that McRunnel had stabbed himself. In addition to the fatal stab wound, McRunnel had bite marks and bruising on his right shoulder and arm, and lacerations on his abdomen. 

McRunnel himself told police that that the wound to his chest was a tattoo, saying "I just touched myself, I hurt myself." Police thought he may have cut himself on broken glass found in the apartment and didn't believe the wound to be a threat to his life, though he died at HCMC a little over an hour later. 

Police were called to the apartment at 5:23 a.m. after Case tried to force her way into a neighbor's home, then again about 20 minutes later for the same issue. The final call to police came around 6:05 a.m. because Case was naked on a street corner yelling that McRunnel had stabbed himself. 

During an interview with police, Case admitted that she'd recently gotten out of rehab, and said she had been addicted to meth and alcohol for 15 years.

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