Trial date set for 'mastermind' in Willmar grandmother's killing


A trial date is set for this summer for a Willmar teen accused of planning the murder of his grandmother, Forum News Service reports.

Robert Warwick, 18, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lila Warwick, 79, at her home in Willmar on July 29, 2013. He has been in jail since September on $2 million bail, awaiting trial – in the meantime, two others charged in the killing have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

Robert Warwick's trial is set to begin July 21 and run through Aug. 8, the News Service says.

District Judge David Mennis will reportedly consider a defense motion from Robert Warwick's attorney to move the trial from Kandiyohi County. The judge gave the teen's attorney until May 2 to collect news media articles to argue prejudicial pretrial publicity to warrant a move. The prosecuting attorney in the case will have until May 9 to file a response to the motion.

The teenager accused of actually killing Lila Warwick was sentenced last month.

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

Junkermeier, of Willmar, 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 told authorities Robert Warwick was the mastermind in a plot to kill Lila Warwick, in order to steal a large sum of money.

The other defendant in the case, Devon Jenkins, 16, of Willmar, pleaded guilty in December to aiding and abetting second-degree murder and received a juvenile sentence at the Prairie Lakes Youth Program. The Tribune says Jenkins will serve probation until his 21st birthday and must complete 100 hours of community service each year of his juvenile sentence.

Jenkins' 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, the paper says.

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