Officers found a revolver and the victim’s phone in an SUV with the suspects.
A man and woman were sentenced to 30½ years in prison Tuesday for their roles in the September killing of an Inver Grove Heights man shot after refusing to pay for an erotic massage.
Logan David Slack and Fotini Anest West, both of Minneapolis, had pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder-not premeditated in connection with the Sept. 24 killing of 43-year-old Michael Chang-Beom Lee at his home.
Logan David Slack and Fotini Anest West (Courtesy of the Dakota County sheriff’s office)
Plea agreements that Slack, 25, and West, 26, reached in February called for the 367-month prison terms that were handed down by Dakota County District Judge Richelle Wahi at sentencing.
West entered a Norgaard plea, stating she could not remember the circumstances of the murder but that she reasonably believed the prosecution had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. She admitted in court to taking opiates and crack cocaine the night of the murder.
According to the criminal complaints:
Officers were dispatched to Lee’s home in the area of 78th Court East and Barbara Avenue just after 2 a.m. on an “open line” 911 call in which the dispatcher could hear a male yelling “help me” and “they are trying to get into my house.”
The dispatcher later aired that the male had gone silent and that it sounded as if the phone was outside in the wind. The dispatcher then discovered the phone was pinging just west of Barbara Avenue.
The first officers on scene saw glass of a back door had been shattered and went inside, where they saw bloody footprints on the carpet. Lee was found dead in the basement bathroom.
Two people told police they saw a dark-colored, older SUV leave a cul-de-sac near Lee’s home just before officers arrived on scene. An officer stopped the SUV, which was occupied by West, Slack and another man.
In an interview, Slack told investigators he had dropped West off at Lee’s house to give him an erotic massage in exchange for money. He said West left the house and told him Lee assaulted her and said he wouldn’t pay her.
Slack said he grabbed a revolver from the SUV, broke the glass of the back door with the butt of his gun and went inside with West. Lee went to the basement bathroom and locked the door. Slack and West ran after him.
Slack said he made a large hole in the bathroom door, and that Lee called 911 during the confrontation. He said when Lee tried to grab him through the hole, he raised his revolver and pulled the trigger. He said the revolver was set on an empty chamber, so he pulled the trigger a second time, shooting Lee in the back.
Slack said he shot Lee to stop him from calling 911 and so he could get his phone to ensure electronic payment for the massage. He said he took Lee’s phone and he and West fled.
During a search of the SUV, officers found the revolver under the driver’s seat and Lee’s phone under the front passenger seat.
Minnesota court records show that neither Slack nor West had previous convictions other than misdemeanor traffic violations.
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