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Published March 19, 2013, 08:51 PM

25-Year Sentence for Badger Murder, Second Defendant Gets 18 Years

Jeremy Lemen, 34, and Desiree Shinholser, 25, pleaded guilty a month ago to the murder of their neighbor, John William Currier, in October.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

A Badger, Minn., couple were sentenced Wednesday to long stretches in prison for murdering their neighbor, John William Currier, in October.

The swift justice came about partly because Jeremy Lemen, 34, and Desiree Shinholser, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder a month ago, foregoing a trial.

State District Judge Donna Dixon in Roseau sentenced Lemen to 25.5 years in prison, with credit for the 164 days already served.

She sentenced Shinholser to 18 years in prison, also giving her credit for 164 days already served in jail.

Both also were ordered to pay restitution, which could include funeral expenses for Currier; the amount will be determined within about eight months by attorneys from the prosecution and the defense. Currier grew up in International Falls, Minn., where his family members still live.

Lemen and Shinholser began serving their sentences immediately, according to state court records.

Lemen, who moved to Minnesota from Arizona a few years ago, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with intent, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years. He had no serious criminal history, said Roseau County Attorney Karen Foss.

Shinholser, who grew up near Gatzke, Minn., and has lived in Florida, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder without intent, also with a maximum sentence of 40 years.

Because Shinholser has an extensive criminal history, state sentencing guidelines stipulated a minimum sentence of at least 16 years and eight months in prison, Foss said.

The couple lived together in Badger in an apartment building where Currier also lived. Lemen formerly worked at the same manufacturing plant as Currier.

After Currier’s girlfriend reported him missing Oct. 6, his body was found in a sort of crawl space in the apartment building. Lemen quickly admitted a role in his death.

Both he and Shinholser ultimately confessed to restraining Currier before beating, strangling and hitting him on and near his head with a hatchet Oct. 5, and hiding his body.

They said they were angry with him over what they said was his altercation earlier with Shinholser.

Lemen will serve his sentence in state prison in St. Cloud, Shinholser in a Shakopee facility.

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