MANKATO — Blue Earth County prosecutors have decided to seek a first-degree murder indictment in the case of the man charged with murdering Yesenia Gonzalez.
Levi Spencer Minissale, 24, of Minneapolis, had been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder in the death of Gonzalez, 20. In early June his bail was set at $1 million and hasn't changed.
Judge Krista Jass approved the convening of a grand jury Wednesday, and now it's likely Minissale will face first-degree murder charges, which carry a life sentence (although even in some life-sentence cases, inmates can be eligible for parole in about 30 years).
Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott said he made the request for the grand jury based on evidence that has been gathered by investigators. A group of 16 to 23 people will be convened to hear that evidence July 22 through 24 and consider whether there is enough evidence to show Minissale planned to kill Gonzalez. Grand jury proceedings are secret and jurors are sworn to secrecy.
Court records show Minissale had been involved in a relationship with Gonzalez and entered her home with a hunting knife Thursday morning June 6 and stabbed her several times. Minissale also assaulted a man in the residence, court records show, who was injured and required medical attention. Police say the man was Gonzalez' husband.
Authorities canvassed the area and found Minissale at a nearby gas station. They arrested him and collected the hunting knife they say was used in the killing.
When asked by investigators if Gonzalez got what she deserved, Minissale reportedly replied, "in a way, yes."
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