Bloomington woman charged with murdering roommate


A Bloomington woman has been charged with murdering her roommate, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Donna Mae Bastyr, 46, has been charged with second-degree murder of 69-year-old Corrine Gibbs.

According to the criminal complaint, on Sunday at approximately 8:08 p.m., Bloomington police were called to an apartment in the 8100 block of 12th Avenue. Upon arriving at the scene, police found Ms. Gibbs lying on the floor in her bedroom. Her body was partially obscured by clothes and boxes. A large amount of blood was visible on the boxes, the bed, the wall, and the floor. Ms. Gibbs had multiple, visible bloody injuries on her body, including on her face and head. An electrical cord was wrapped around her neck.

An autopsy done by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner concluded that Ms. Gibbs died as the result of complex homicidal violence.

During their investigation, police officers learned that Ms. Gibbs had two roommates, Bastyr and the person who called 911. The apartment was part of a sober living complex and the women were not permitted to drink there. The second roommate reported she wasn’t at the apartment all weekend and when she returned on May 6, just before 8 p.m. She entered the bedroom, saw Ms. Gibbs victim on the floor and immediately called 911.

As police were processing the crime scene, a separate call was made to 911 regarding a drunk and disorderly woman involved in a domestic altercation two blocks away at another sober living complex. The officers who responded to the call found Bastyr assaulting a man in the parking lot.

When police identified Bastyr at the second scene, she confirmed she lived in the apartment with Ms. Gibbs. She told police she hadn’t been home all day and had left the apartment at noon to take the train to go meet her boyfriend. Bastyr had visible scrapes and bruises about her body.  

Police interviewed her boyfriend on Monday.  He told police that Bastyr had been extremely intoxicated the day before. He said he had communicated with her throughout the day on Sunday. He said he was aware the Bastyr and Gibbs did not get along. Bastyr told him that Gibbs was “going to get hers The boyfriend later admitted to police that Bastyr told him over the phone that she had killed Gibbs by bludgeoning her and wrapping a cord around her neck.

Bastyr told him she was angry with Gibbs because she believed Gibbs had reported her for drinking at the sober house and Bastyr believed she was going to be kicked out of the program.  

Bastyr is currently in custody.

Based on the particular cruelty of this crime and the particular vulnerability of this victim, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will seek an aggravated sentence.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)