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Son accused of killing police officer, brother indicted on 1st-degree murder charges


The son of a slain Elk River police officer is now charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of his father and older brother.

A grand jury returned an indictment on Christopher Besser, 22, charging him with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of Todd Besser, 49, and Blake Besser, 27. The two were found fatally shot in the Besser brothers’ St. Michael home on May 9, the Wright County Attorney's Office said in a news release Thursday.

He was previously charged with two counts of intentional second-degree murder, and at the time Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly said he would ask a grand jury to consider first-degree murder charges. (Minnesota law requires that a grand jury indict someone on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.)

Christopher Besser told police he "just snapped" when he grabbed a gun from the cabinet, walked into the basement and killed his father as he sat at the computer, the criminal complaint said. Then, he waited in the kitchen for his older brother, shooting him too, before wiping his fingerprints from the weapon and leaving the house, walking past his dying brother who was on the phone with police, according to the charges.

Christopher Besser made his initial court appearance on the grand jury's indictment Wednesday, where his bail remained set at $2 million with conditions.

He will make his next court appearance July 28.

The mandatory sentence for being convicted of first-degree murder is life in prison, Minnesota law says.

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