Long-awaited trial in death of Danielle Jelinek set to begin


After months of delays and two canceled trials, the murder trial of Aaron Schnagl in the 2013 death of his former girlfriend is expected to begin this week.

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday, according to the Chisago County Court calendar, and could last several days.

Schnagl, 31, was indicted in December 2013 on a third-degree murder charge after prosecutors say he gave Danielle Jelinek cocaine that played a role in her death. He is currently serving 6 1/2 years in prison for cocaine possession, WCCO reports.

Schnagl's trial comes after months of motions and other delays. It was initially set to begin in March 2015, but was postponed until June, at which point it was delayed "indefinitely," the Star Tribune reported.

Jelinek, 27, who grew up in Cottage Grove and lived in Oakdale, was reported missing in December 2012. Her body was found in May 2013 in a swampy area of Chisago County.

The medical examiner could not determine a single cause of death, but an autopsy did show cocaine and alcohol in her system – this has been a focal point of the case, and a the medical examiner is expected to testify in the trial, the Chisago County Press reported.

The trial is scheduled to last for most of the month, court records show.

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