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Twin Cities man charged with murder in girlfriend's beating death

The victim was 36 years old.

A man is facing up to 40 years in prison following the death of his girlfriend, who was found severely beaten following a domestic incident last weekend.  

Timothy Heller, 42, was charged Friday with one count of second-degree murder in the homicide of 36-year-old Lacy Jo Krube.

According to a news release from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, paramedics were summoned to a residence in St. Paul on Sunday, Feb. 21, where they found Krube unconscious with two black eyes, multiple lacerations and extensive swelling on her face. 

She never regained consciousness and "was soon pronounced dead."

Following her death, investigators learned that she had been staying with Heller at a residence on Brunswick Avenue in Brooklyn Park. The owners of the residence had recently "opened their home" to Heller owing to his homelessness and the brutally cold temperatures at the time. 

They soon took in the victim as well, but on Saturday, Feb. 20, the two owners asked the pair to leave by the next day. Later, the criminal complaint says, one of the owners saw "extensive visible injuries" to Krube's face. The victim then admitted that Heller had caused her wounds.

One of the homeowners confronted Heller about this, leading to a physical altercation. The defendant ultimately fled the scene on foot, while the homeowners urged Krube to go to the hospital. She refused, the complaint says, and instead requested a ride to the St. Paul residence to stay with friends. 

The two witnesses complied, and after arriving at her friends' residence, the victim "complained of stomach pain prior to being found unresponsive."

Heller was arrested on Monday. According to the charging documents, he "denied being responsible for Victim's death but did admit to punching Victim in the face and blackening both of her eyes." 

"Without being told about Victim's abdominal injuries," the complain continues, "Defendant spontaneously told police that Victim had been assaulted by another boyfriend four weeks earlier who stomped on her stomach."

According to the autopsy, the victim's "most serious injuries were located in her abdominal area," which resulted in a "ruptured stomach" — ultimately leading to the woman's death by acute peritonitis.

The autopsy also found the victim with "numerous traumatic injuries consistent with inflicted assault including numerous contusions, abrasions and hemorrhages covering her entire face, torso and extremities."

"Notably, Victim had observable bruising and hemorrhages present in her neck area that appeared indicative of manual strangulation," the complaint says.

Prosecutors are asking for a bail of $2 million. Heller is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

"Prosecutors said they will seek a higher sentence than recommended by the state’s sentencing guidelines because of the cruelty of the beating and because Heller is a career criminal with 10 convictions, mainly for domestic abuse-related charges," the release notes.

According to the criminal complaint, his prior convictions go back to the year 2000.  

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