Woman who stuffed victim in freezer guilty of murder

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jetaun Wheeler, 30, who had been charged with murdering her boyfriend and stuffing him in a freezer, pleaded guilty Monday morning in the middle of her trial, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced.

Wheeler’s trial, on the count of second-degree intentional murder in the death of Eddie Frank Sole, 58, was about to begin its fourth day. Instead, she agreed to plead guilty to second-degree unintentional murder.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21. Prosecutors will be seeking 180 months in prison, the maximum sentence allowed for the crime under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.

“While the presentation of our case was going well, we would have needed Wheeler’s pre-teen children to testify and that would have been terribly difficult for them,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “By pleading guilty, it spares her children and she will still do significant time in prison.”

In opening statements last week, assistant Hennepin County Attorney Sarah Stennes highlighted the gruesome details of Sole’s beating on about July 31, 2013 and the aftermath when Wheeler went to a store to buy a chest freezer to hide Sole’s body.

Wheeler’s defense attorney said in her opening statement that Wheeler did buy the freezer but argued that his death was unintentional and the result of self-defense during a fight that occurred between the couple and a third party, in which Wheeler used a closet rod as a weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, on August 13, Sole’s brother went to South Lake Minnetonka Police to report Eddie Sole was missing. Wheeler was unhelpful in locating the whereabouts of her boyfriend. She told police and Sole’s family that she put him on a bus on Aug. 3 back to Chicago because the couple had been having issues.

On Aug. 21, police went to Wheeler’s Shorewood home with a search warrant. Inside the garage they found a new freezer behind two mattresses. Inside the freezer was Sole, frozen and wrapped in plastic and duct tape.