Cloquet man sentenced after plea in cold case murder

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A Cloquet man was sentenced to just over 39 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to a cold case murder that when unresolved for the past 13 years, WCCO-TV reports.

John Joseph Couture Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, witness tampering and abetting arson in connection with the Sept. 3, 2000, murder of Trina Louise Langenbrunner, the St. Louis County Attorney's Office said.

Langenbrunner, 33 was found stabbed and beaten to death near a gravel pit in St. Louis County.

The Duluth News-Tribune reports that Couture, 42, was sentenced to 386 months in prison on the murder conviction, and another 86 months for the witness-tampering conviction.

John Couture's wife, Sandra Couture, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree witness tampering and first-degree aiding and abetting arson.

The woman also admitted to setting fire to the property of a witness, destroying a home, car and killing two dogs, WCCO reported.

The News Tribune says St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin read a prepared statement outside the courthouse after Friday's hearing, crediting the "unwavering commitment of law enforcement in the successful prosecution of this case."

"Their compassionate perseverance ensured a just conclusion for this family and community," Rubin said.

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