Skip to main content

Murder charges: 'Intoxicated' woman stabbed boyfriend in heart with kitchen knife

Police were called to their apartment three times in the same night.

The girlfriend of 39-year-old Joseph "Moochie" McRunnel has been charged with his murder on a night where police were called to their apartment three times.

Zara Jo Case, also 39, was charged Wednesday with the 2nd-degree murder of McRunnel at the apartment at 990 15th Avenue S.E. in Minneapolis. Both Case and McRunnel were intoxicated that night, though a criminal complaint notes that McRunnel was less so.

Police were called to the apartment three times in less than an hour by neighbors, and on the third occasion McRunnel was found with a 10.5 cm deep stab wound that had pierced the right side of his heart.

When she was interviewed, Case 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."

The first call came in at 5:23 a.m., with a neighbor saying that Case was trying to force her way into his home, and he had to block the door with a refrigerator.

Officers arrived to find Case naked from the waist down and "extremely intoxicated," noting she was saying "strange and incoherent things" and when asked if she was on drugs, replied: "Absitively not."

They convinced her to go back to McRunnel's apartment, with McRunnel coming out and speaking with officers. The criminal complaint notes that he was "intoxicated but was cooperative and helpful."

While police were talking with McRunnel, the neighbor once again called 911 as Case was trying to get into his apartment. Police once again convinced her to return to McRunnel's apartment, and cleared the call at 6:05 a.m.

A minute later, officers received a call about a woman on the street corner "screaming about her boyfriend stabbing himself."

They returned to the apartment and found McRunnel with a stab wound to his chest, bite marks and bruising to his right shoulder and arm, and lacerations on his abdomen.

"Defendant was hysterical and resisted arrest," the complaint says of Case. "She kept yelling that Defendant had stabbed himself."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

McRunnel himself didn't initially think he'd been stabbed, telling police "It’s a tattoo” and “I just touched myself, I hurt myself."

Officers originally thought he may have cut himself on broken glass found in the apartment. First responders meanwhile didn't think the wound would prove fatal at first, but he died at HCMC a little over an hour later.

Police later found a large kitchen knife at the apartment lying on the floor of the bedroom.

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

Next Up

Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello scores twice, Wild win third straight

A team effort helped Minnesota dispatch the Ducks.

Rep. Tou Xiong

State lawmaker Tou Xiong apologizes after driving under the influence

The state representative was pulled over on the night of Jan. 8.

St Lukes Duluth GSV Pro

Duluth hospital requiring visitors to show vax proof, neg. test

The health care system is also tightening visitor guidelines.

ridgeview urgent care facebook

Ridgeview halting urgent care at a Twin Cities site 'until further notice'

The organization cited "growing emergency medical needs" at the facility.

polley freeborn county jail roster jan 2022 resize

Charges: MN high school counselor sexually assaulted student

The 16-year-old victim had regularly gone to him for academic help and other support, authorities say.

Proctor football

Proctor investigation: Senior charged with sexually assaulting teammate

The criminal charges come after a monthslong review of the allegations.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 9.07.41 PM

Ordway will require vaccinated audience members also be boosted

If someone has not gotten a booster shot, they will have to show a negative COVID test.

Gophers basketball, Williams Arena, Gopher fans

U of M to require vaccine or negative test proof for large events

The policy doesn't go into effect until late-January.

Lauri Anne Deatherage

Man indicted for first-degree murder in ex-wife's death

He's accused of killing her days after she remarried.

Jackknifed semi I-94 Sauk Centre Jesse Grabow

Crashes, spinouts piling up as snow blankets southern MN

Snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

Related

Joseph McRunnel

Minneapolis woman pleads guilty to killing boyfriend in intoxicated rage

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

Susan B A Davis - Ramsey Co booking photo

Charges: Suspect stabbed stranger hours after murdering woman with same knife

DNA tests on the blade helped authorities connect the cases, the complaint says.

Woman, 58, dies a month after being stabbed by boyfriend

A man is in custody in connection with the killing.

Joseph McRunnel

Authorities ID man fatally stabbed at Minneapolis apartment

The 39-year-old's girlfriend is in custody for probable cause murder.

Charges: Man stabbed woman with fish knife, stole firefighter's car

The 50 year old from Mayer is facing attempted murder charges.

Screen Shot 2021-09-11 at 7.42.42 AM

Charges: Woman fatally stabbed boyfriend, child's father

The man died from a single stab wound that struck an artery.

Christopher Colgrove

Charges: Man fatally stabs woman in front of police after Taser was ineffective

The victim has been identified as a 53-year-old from rural Bagley.