First-Degree Murder Indictment Against Minnesota Farm Worker
Winthrop, MN (KROC-AM News) - A southern Minnesota farmworker is now charged with first-degree murder.
The Sibley County Grand Jury this week returned the first-degree murder indictment against 42-year-old Travis Bauer of a rural Winthrop. He was previously charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of the elderly farmer who employed him to work on his Winthrop area farm.
According to the criminal complaint, Bauer shot 79-year-old Dennis Weitzenkamp in the back of the head while the victim was sitting in a chair shucking corn in the machine shed on his farm last September. The court document says Bauer had worked for Weitzenkamp for many years and was considered a member of the family.
The indictment lists financial gain as the motive for the crime. The charges indicate Bauer was deeply in debt and was on the verge of losing his home. The court document also indicates investigators found trust documents that show Bauer "would receive significant financial benefit from Weitzenkamp's death.”
Bauer was formally arraigned on the first-degree murder charge in Sibley County Court today. His conditional bail was increased from $500,000 to $1.5 million. His next court hearing is scheduled on May 11.