The day after the funeral for Lila Warwick, the Willmar church volunteer murdered earlier this week, the Star Tribune has a front page story detailing the role that her 17-year-old grandson allegedly played orchestrating the death.
The newspaper reported that the grandson's aunt Cheri Ekbom, Lila Warwick’s daughter, said that "something made her think of him" when she learned of her mother's violent death.
“He was the first thought that came to my mind. I knew he was a hurting, angry boy," Ekbom told the paper.
KMSP reported that Ekbom told investigators that the suspect had grown distant from his 79 year old grandmother, who was possibly trying to help him with drug issues. Ekbom said that he had texted her daughter saying he "hated grandma."
KARE 11 reported that the 17-year-old grandson admitted giving Warwick's garage code to Brok Junkermeier to gain access to the elderly woman's residence. According to the criminal complaint, Junkermeier, 19, killed Warwick while the 16 year old suspect stood watch. Robbery was the motive. All three were charged Friday.
When Junkermeier was arrested Wednesday he gave police a statement confirming details of the crime. The grandson admitted to plotting the break-in and giving the other teens information about his grandmother’s house and habits.
Willmar's West Central Tribune reports that Kandiyohi County prosecutors have referred prosecution of Junkermeier to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, but the county will prosecute the other two teens. A hearing to certify the 16-year-old suspect to stand trial as an adult will be held Aug. 29 and the hearing for the 17-year-old grandson will be held Aug. 30. Both are charged with second-degree murder. The two juvenile suspects are being held at Prairie Lakes Youth Program detention center.
Meanwhile, an editorial in the Willmar paper offered a reminder of the small town ties of the suspects as well as the victim, writing that "...this crime has also impacted the families and friends of the three suspects. They are all members of our community. We need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers for they too are suffering the terrible anguish of this horrendous crime."
Junkermeier was arrested at the offices of the newspaper, where he worked in the mail room.