Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Man pleads guilty to 1980 stabbing death of Minneapolis woman

Author:

The man accused of fatally stabbing 22-year-old Mary Steinhart in her south Minneapolis apartment 33 years ago pleaded guilty Thursday in Hennepin County District Court.

KARE 11 reports DNA identified 58-year-old Robert Skogstad of Edgerton, Kan. as a suspect in the homicide as part of the city's cold case initiative.

Skogstad pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is expected to be sentenced to more than 11 years in prison based on what sentencing guidelines called for in 1980.

The Star Tribune reports Steinhart was a medical technician at a downtown Minneapolis urology clinic and had missed two days of work before her body was discovered on the bedroom floor of her Girard Ave. S. apartment with more than two dozen stab wounds.

The medical examiner determined Steinhart was killed on Nov. 25, 1980 and she had been dead for at least 24 hours before her body was found.

The newspaper said investigators located the murder weapon, a butcher knife, in the waste basket.

Sgt. Barb Moe and Sgt. Tammy Diedrich of the Minneapolis homicide unit picked up Steinhart's case in 2008. Using DNA technology that wasn't available at the time of Steinhart's death, investigators were able to link fibers found at the crime scene and preserved in an evidence locker to Skogland in 2010.

Detectives learned Skogland previously lived in the Twin Cities and had worked as a caretaker at Steinhart's apartment building.

In 1988, Skogstad was convicted of burglary and rape in California. His DNA profile collected from that crime was not entered into a national database until 20 years later.

After tracking Skogland down in Kansas, a second DNA sample was collected. which also matched the DNA found at the scene of Steinhart's murder.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said it's the oldest cold case his office has successfully prosecuted.

Skogstad is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6.

Next Up

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.

covid

Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

Two Gopher QBs have already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

Related

Rodney Velho

Minneapolis man pleads guilty in shooting of girlfriend's ex

Rodney Velho admitted to shooting his girlfriend's ex boyfriend while he was dropping off children for a visit.

Joseph McRunnel

Minneapolis woman pleads guilty to killing boyfriend in intoxicated rage

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

Arrest made in 1980 Minneapolis cold-case killing

Police have made an arrest in a 32-year-old homicide case, the Star Tribune reports. The arrest in Kansas last week stems from November 1980, when a 22-year-old woman was fatally stabbed in her basement apartment at 3242 Girard Ave. S., Sgt. Bill Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department said.