Teen charged with planning Willmar grandmother's murder will plead guilty


The 18-year-old charged with planning the murder of his grandmother, Lila Warwick, has struck a plea deal, the Star Tribune reports.

Robert Warwick of Willmar will plead guilty to first-degree murder while committing a felony, the West Central Tribune reports; a charge of first-degree premeditated murder will be dropped.

The Star Tribune says detailed terms of the deal – which was filed Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court – are not known at this time.

According to the West Central Tribune, a formal plea hearing is set for Wednesday. Warwick's trial was scheduled to begin July 21.

Prosecutors say Warwick orchestrated the plan to rob and kill his 79-year-old grandmother, Lila Warwick, whom he believed had a safe in her house containing more than $40,000. She was murdered in her Willmar home on July 29, 2013, after being stabbed, strangled and left for dead.

Two other teenagers were also charged in connection with the case.

Brok Junkermeier, 19 was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, and surprised even his attorneys with a sudden guilty plea in April. He admitted to stabbing and strangling Lila Warwick after months of planning, and said he entered his plea so the family wouldn’t have to hear more evidence.

Junkermeier was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole less than a week after his admission. According to the West Central Tribune, Junkermeier reportedly told authorities Robert Warwick was the mastermind in the plot.

The other defendant in the case, 16-year-old Devon Jenkins of Willmar, pleaded guilty in December to aiding and abetting second-degree murder and received a juvenile sentence at the Prairie Lakes Youth Program. He'd been accused of waiting in the car while Junkermeier killed Lila Warwick.

Jenkins will serve probation until his 21st birthday and must complete 100 hours of community service each year of his juvenile sentence. His adult sentence of 15 years in prison was stayed, but he could serve the time if his fails to comply with the juvenile sentence requirements.

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