Skip to main content

Plea changed to guilty in murder of Minnesota National Guard member

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A South St. Paul man pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering a Minnesota National Guard member in his sleep last summer. KSTP reports Aaron Allen also agreed to testify against Heather Horst in her murder trial. Prosecutors say Horst planned the killing of her husband, Brandon Horst, and convinced Allen to carry out the crime.

The Pioneer Press reports Allen testified in court Wednesday that he was abused as a child and that he "saw red" when Heather Horst described beatings from her husband that caused the deaths of two unborn children.

Allen testified that he wanted to put an end to the abuse when he killed Brandon Horst with a single bullet to the head in Horst's St. Paul home last Aug. 4. Allen learned during the subsequent criminal investigation that Heather Horst had not been pregnant, the Pioneer Press says.

The Star Tribune reports that attorneys prosecuting and defending Allen both cast him as an emotionally vulnerable man who was manipulated by Heather Horst into committing murder. Allen was engaged to Heather Horst's sister-in-law. The Star Tribune says he testified he's been diagnosed as being bi-polar and suffering from other disorders including post-traumatic stress.

A grand jury indicted Allen and Heather Horst on first-degree murder charges in September. Prosecutors argue Heather Horst was motivated by the prospect of collecting on two life insurance policies her husband held.

WCCO reports she stood to receive $480,000 as the sole beneficiary of the policies. One of the policies was issued to Brandon Horst by the military, the other through his work as a federal employee.

In return for pleading guilty to second-degree murder, the first-degree murder indictment against Allen will be dropped. WCCO says he has agreed to the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. A court date for Heather Horst has not been announced.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

Related