Nicholas Zielinski, Melissa Zielinski were convicted of murder

Nicholas Zielinski and Melissa Zielinski (Anoka County Jail)

Nicholas Zielinski and Melissa Zielinski (Anoka County Jail)

Minnesota judges on Wednesday sentenced a 43-year-old woman and her 44-year-old brother to prison for robbing and killing a 22-year-old man in his family home then threatening her father. victim.

Nicholas Walter Zielinski and Melissa Madelyne Zielinski separately convicted for their role in the fatal shooting in August 2020 Karl Mitchell Henderson.

Anoka District Court Judge Dyanna L Street. Melissa was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. Last month, a grand jury found Melissa guilty on that count as well as one count each of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree negligent homicide, Court records show.

Judge Street did not plead guilty to second-degree murder with willful intent. Second degree murder without intent is designated as a “sentence without conviction” because it is a lesser offense in the same category as “intentional” crime.

Melissa is said to have served 560 days behind bars.

Nicholas Zielinski was initially charged with first-degree murder while committing a felony but reached a settlement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree attempted murder. In exchange for his plea, District Court Judge Anoka Bethany A. Fountain Lindberg sentenced Nicholas to 225 months in prison, ie 18 years and 9 months.

Henderson’s father on August 27, 2020 called police after having a grisly encounter with the Zielinski siblings when he found his son dead in his home.

According to court documents, officers from the Lake Lino Police Department and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call about 2:35 p.m. local time about a shooting at a house in the neighborhood. 6000 of West Shadow Lake Drive. Upon arrival at the house, Henderson’s father recounted the abhorrent events he had just endured.

Henderson’s father told investigators he returned home from the grocery store around 2:30 p.m. and saw an SUV in his driveway that he didn’t recognize. When he entered the kitchen, he saw a man and a woman, later identified as Nicholas and Melissa, who then walked out toward the SUV. Henderson’s father followed them and asked what they were doing.

“The man who said the effective words was ‘your son stole from me’ and ‘I’ll take you out too.’ The man and woman then drove away in the black SUV,” a probable cause affidavit. “[Henderson’s father] told officers that he then went downstairs and observed his son, Karl Mitchell Henderson, face down in a large pool of blood in his bedroom. “

First responders at the scene confirmed that Henderson had suffered two gunshot wounds to the stomach and was pronounced dead at the scene. A safe was reported missing and a 9mm Hi-Point handgun found near the body did not belong to anyone living in the home.

Several of Henderson’s neighbors provided investigators with doorbell camera footage that allowed police to track the SUV back to Nicholas. The DNA found on the butt of the gun also matched the DNA profile that law enforcement had in Nicholas’ file. In addition, Henderson’s father also selected a photo of Nicholas from a list of photographs, according to the affidavit. Melissa is soon identified as his female companion.

Investigators received a search warrant and seized Melissa’s cell phone. A forensic examination revealed text messages from the day before the murder appeared suggesting that she and Nicholas needed a stream of cash to close a real estate deal that would close the day after the explosion. guns.

“We hope to collect some of the money I owe,” Melissa wrote, according to the affidavit.

“So you and Nick will make some money,” the response read.

“Hope. I’ve waited long enough,” Melissa wrote back.

Police also recovered a safe from the home of an associate of Melissa’s that had Melissa’s DNA on it and matched the serial number of the safe’s owner’s manual taken from the Henderson home.

According to a report are from St. Paul Pioneer PressInvestigators never discovered Henderson’s connection to Zielinskis, nor did they learn more details about the alleged debt to Melissa.

Read the relevant court documents below.

[images via Anoka County Jail]

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected] Nicholas Zielinski, Melissa Zielinski were convicted of murder

James Brien

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