Suspect indicted on 1st-degree murder charges in killing of SW Minnesota couple

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A grand jury has indicted a man accused of shooting a couple in their southwestern Minnesota home, and then setting it on fire.

Derek Hexum, who was previously charged with second-degree murder, was indicted Thursday morning on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Jim and Cathy Hively last April, Marshall Radio reports.

Hexum has also been charged with first-degree arson, second-degree arson, first-degree burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm, court records show.

Two other men – Theodore Como and Kyle Wesslink – were also arrested and charged in connection with the incident. The have both pleaded guilty to charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Como told police he waited outside while Hexum went into the Hively’s residence with a shotgun, then heard four or five shots and a scream. They returned the next day to destroy evidence – Hexum lighting the house on fire, while Como started the garage ablaze, the complaint says.

Hexum, who is on probation after being sentenced for helping his brother flee police following a shooting in Yellow Medicine County, has said he wasn’t involved in the burglary or arson.

Last month, a Lyon County judge rejected Hexum's request to enter a guilty plea because the county attorney was seeking first-degree murder charges against him, KEYC reports, so the plea was put on hold pending an indictment. (In Minnesota, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence – like first-degree murder – must come from a grand jury indictment.)

Hexum is expected to be arraigned on the first-degree murder charges on March 17, court records show, with his trial slated to begin July 11.

Last fall, CityPages did an extensive story on the three suspects and how their lives led them to the Hively's farmhouse last April. Read it here.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Minnesota's COVID-19 hospitalizations increase by 27.5% in 24 hours

Bring Me The News confirmed that the dramatic increase is not a numbers error.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.

Related