St. Paul man admits killing intruder, hiding the body in his garage for a month

The killer said he hoped maggots would eat the body.

What's happened?

John Michael Erickson, of St. Paul, has agreed to a plea deal over the killing of 47-year-old Allan "Buddy" Bishara Aguilar in June of last year.

As part of the deal, Erickson, 50, has agreed to plea guilty to 1st degree manslaughter and felony interference with a dead body.

He's due to appear for sentencing in court at 1:30 p.m. on Apr. 9, the Ramsey County attorney told GoMN.

What did he do?

According to the criminal complaint, Aguilar was last seen alive on June 13, 2017, and prior to this Erickson had been heard threatening to shoot Aguilar if he ever saw him again.

Erickson later told police that the argument with Aguilar came after he allowed a neighbor to work on cars in his Lawson Avenue East garage, later finding out that some of his tools had been taken and the car was stolen. The neighbor blamed Aguilar for stealing the tools. 

Around the time Aguilar went missing, Erickson said he went into his garage after hearing a noise, and claims he was struck with a bat by an intruder.

He then proceeded to wrestle the man in the garage before grabbing a metal jack from his tool bench, hitting him four or five times on the head.

Aguilar suffered catastrophic injuries, with an autopsy finding "extensive fractures" on his skull including at the base.

Erickson claimed he didn't know the man was Aguilar till the next morning, saying he was "fighting for his life and his family."

His body was found a month later

Several neighbors noticed Erickson was acting erratically in the ensuing few weeks, with one coming across him drunk and crying on June 27 or 29, telling her "I did something really bad."

They also noticed he'd kept his garage closed. It was usually found open, and a place where friends and neighbors would gather and drink.

One witness went into the garage with Erickson on July 10 and noticed a "strange smell" that he recognized from his time working in a slaughterhouse.

Eventually, a group of Aguilar's friends went into the garage on July 14 and reported to police his body was in there.

His decomposing body was found wrapped in several sheets of plastic and hidden beneath some building debris. 

Speaking to police later, Erickson said he didn't know what to do after he killed Aguilar, and with a stolen car in garage, so he wrapped him in plastic and hid him, hoping "the maggots would take care of the body."

Erickson has three prior felony convictions: failure to register as a predatory offender, terroristic threats, and 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.

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