Man, woman charged in two separate Hennepin County murders

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Minneapolis man was charged with murder in the death of another in a Brooklyn Center parking lot and a Shorewood woman was charged in the death of her missing boyfriend she stuffed in a chest freezer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced at a Monday news conference.

Jetaun Helen Wheeler, 29, was charged with one count of  second-degree murder in the death of her 58-year-old boyfriend, whose name has not yet been released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. Antonio Daniels, 26, of Minneapolis was charged with one count of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Michael McGowan, 25, of Minneapolis.

According to the criminal complaint (PDF), Wheeler’s boyfriend talked to a friend by phone on July 31 and said he was leaving Wheeler because she had assaulted him and “she was crazy.” Family expected him in Chicago on Aug. 1, and on Aug. 13 the victim’s brother went to South Lake Minnetonka Police to report his brother missing and to say that Wheeler refused to provide him with any information.

She told police she put him on a bus on Aug. 3 but otherwise was unhelpful. On Aug. 21, police went to the house with a search warrant. When they went to the garage, they found a new freezer behind two mattresses. When they opened it, they found the missing man wrapped in plastic and duct tape.

“It’s a big trunk freezer like your grandmother might have had,” Freeman said. “She purchased the freezer Aug. 5, about the time he was last heard from.”

The autopsy found he suffered blunt force injuries to his face and head, and lacerations to the left side of his face, according to the complaint. In a later search of the home, police recovered a closet rod on the floor of a closet. It was broken in two and had blood on it.

As for the Aug. 22 murder in the parking lot of a Days Inn in Brooklyn Center, it was a fight that turned deadly.

“Apparently, there was a fight among a number of individuals and Mr. Daniels took the life of an individual at that time,” Freeman said.

According to the criminal complaint (PDF), several people were involved in a fistfight when Daniels pulled out a pistol and shot about five times, striking McGowan in the chest. A gun was later recovered behind a garbage can near the scene of the shooting and is being tested to see if it is the murder weapon.