State seeks Grand Jury in Couture Case

By KBJR News 1

State seeks Grand Jury in Couture Case

June 28, 2012 Updated Jun 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The man charged with 2nd Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in the case of Trina Langenbrunner's death12 years ago, appeared in court Thursday.

The state is looking into charging 41 year old Joseth Couture with first degree murder; to do that they will have to convene a Grand Jury.

In court Thursday, Couture said that he has talked with lawyers for his case and understands the charges and his rights.

If a Grand Jury is not convened, Couture's next court appearance is expected to be held at the end of January.

On June 15 Couture was taken custody without incident in the September, 2000 death of Trina Langenbrunner.

Langenbrunner's body was found in rural St. Louis County.

St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman said this arrest brings the beginning of closure for Langenbrunner's family.

Couture has a criminal history.

He was convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct with an 8-year old girl through the use of force and a weapon.

On June 18, 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.

Sheriff Litman says these witness statements; along with other physical evidence, will give the county attorney's office a strong case.

Couture's bail has been set at one million dollars.