September 17, 2014

Cloquet Man Pleads Guilty to Langenbrunner Murder

By KBJR News 1

July 26, 2013 Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- The man accused of murdering Trina Langenbrunner has pleaded guilty to the crime.

In court on Friday, Joseph Couture pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder. He also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting arson, and tampering with a witness.

The guilty plead comes with a 39-year prison sentence, 409 days of which have been served, according to the judge.

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors praise the coordination of multiple legal and law enforcement agencies, and the endurance of a family who have felt deep pain for over a decade.

"They're compassionate perseverance ensured a just conclusion for this family and for the community," said St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin.

"The persistence and the dedication never stopped," said St. Louis County Supervising Deputy Steve Steblay. "Our investigation unit today, who kind of broke this thing, we're very proud of them."

Langenbrunner's family praises the St. Louis County legal team for helping put Couture away.

"I just want to thank St. Louis County and Jessica [Smith] and everybody that's help with this case getting solved and finding the killer of my daughter," said Trina's mother Margret Dupuis.

On June 15 2012, Joesph Couture was taken custody and subsequently charged with 2nd Degree Murder in the case of Langenbrunner's death 12-years-ago on the Fond du Lac Reservation.

On June 18 of 2012, authorities said two witnesses came forth with testimony that both had heard Couture confess to killing Langenbrunner.

One witness also said they saw Couture shortly after the killing, covered in blood and disposing of evidence.

That witness says Courture threatened that he would kill the witness in the same fashion that Langenbrunner was murdered if they talked with authorities.

Zach Vavricka

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