A Shorewood woman charged with second-degree unintentional murder in the death of her boyfriend pleaded guilty to the crime during the trial Monday, the Pioneer Press says.
Jetaun Wheeler, 30, was accused in the death of 58-year-old Eddie Sole. She was accused of beating Sole to death with a closet rod, and wrapping him in plastic and duct tape before hiding him in a freezer in the garage of her Shorewood home.
Wheeler pleaded guilty to the charges in cooperation with the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.
According the Star Tribune, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the presentation of the prosecution's case "was going well," but by agreeing to the plea, it spared the need for Wheeler’s preteen children to testify, which "would have been terribly difficult for them."
KSTP says the trial began last week, and in opening statements, the prosecution highlighted details of the alleged beating, which took place at the end of July 2013. After allegedly killing Sole, Wheeler went to a store to buy a chest freezer to hide the man's body, the prosecution said.
The station says Wheeler’s defense attorney opened the trial by admitting Wheeler did buy the freezer, but argued Sole's death was unintentional and was the result of self-defense during a fight. The defense attorney also said the fight happened between the couple and a third party.
Authorities said in charges against Wheeler that she killed Sole because he tried to leave the relationship. Police believe the man's body was frozen for weeks before the discovery of his body was made, the Pioneer Press says.
The woman was taken into custody as a “person of interest” on Aug. 21, 2013, after Sole’s body was found. Sole was reported missing by family members in Chicago after he did not return home after two weeks.
Wheeler was formally charged with Sole’s murder on Aug. 26. Her three children, ages 10, 8 and 7, were found safe by authorities the next day after they initially could not locate them.
Sentencing in the case is set for Aug. 21. Prosecutors will reportedly seek a 15-year prison sentence in the case, which is the maximum amount of time allowed under Minnesota sentencing guidelines.