Authorities warn against helping suspect in gas station slaying


Charges were filed Friday against the only suspect in the shooting death of a Boston Scientific executive.

The Star Tribune reports Lyle M. Hoffman was charged in Ramsey County District Court in the death of his former boyfriend and business partner Kelly Phillips, 48.

A statement from the Ramsey County Attorney's office reads:

"A nationwide executable warrant has been issued for Mr. Hoffman’s arrest and the State will ask for $1,000,000 bail. To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office asked the Court to seal the criminal complaint against Mr. Hoffman until such time as he is in custody."

Police believe Hoffman shot and killed Phillips at the Holiday gas station in Arden Hills. Authorities say the two arrived in the same dark BMW, and witnesses said Phillips tried to flee before he was shot in the back and the head. Authorities believe Hoffman fled in that vehicle, which was recovered the next day.

Hoffman remains a fugitive, and in a statement released Friday, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office says it believes one or more people have provided aid to Hoffman since the incident.

"By law harboring, aiding or assisting Mr. Hoffman, by word or act, or intentionally aiding him by concealing evidence, providing false or misleading information or otherwise obstructing this investigation is a felony. A felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years," the sheriff's office says. "We are urging anyone who has had contact with Mr. Hoffman, or has harbored or assisted him in any way since the murder of Mr. Phillips, to voluntarily come forward immediately."

The sheriff's office will be pursuing charges against anyone who has aided or harbored Hoffman, or lied to law enforcement about his whereabouts – but added their assistance in the investigation, if they come forward, "will be taken into consideration."

The Pierce County Herald reported visitation for Phillips is on Friday from 5-8 p.m. in his hometown of Mason City, Iowa. Phillips will be laid to rest there on Saturday.

Meanwhile, FOX 9 reported Lush Food Bar, the northeast Minneapolis restaurant that Hoffman and Phillips had once jointly owned, has reopened for business. It was closed in the days immediately following the shooting.

Crimestoppers is now offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.

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