Murder charges filed in Babbitt homicide

By KBJR News 1

Murder charges filed in Babbitt homicide

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 8:27 PM CST

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Murder charges have been filed against a 24-year-old man accused of killing another man in Babbitt on Monday.

Shawn Russel Doherty has been charged with second degree intentional homicide after allegedly strangling 55-year-old Paul Bulen of Mahtomedi, Minnesota, to death.

Authorities were called to 37 Astor Road just around11 a.m. Monday after Bulen was found laying in the roadway, unresponsive.

He was taken to Ely Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Babbitt Police Department says he died as a result of asphyxiation from manual strangulation.

According to the criminal complaint, Doherty admitted to authorities that he murdered Bulen "for his grandpa" and that he "put him in the dirt".

The complaint states that Bulen was Doherty's mother's boyfriend. According to the complaint, Doherty had told his mother that Bulent was getting in between them and that he was going to kill him. Doherty's mother Lynda said she did not think much of that statement.

The complaint states that Bulen was afraid of Doherty. Doherty's mother was out running errands during the time of the murder but before she left Bulen asked her to lock the bedroom door because he was afraid of her son. The complaint states that the bedroom door had been forced open by Doherty. When Lynda returned home, she observed blood on the floor and walls and screamed for help.

Prosecutor Michelle Anderson said that Doherty was a risk to the public and to himself and asked that bail be set at $1 million.

Judge Pagliaccetti ordered an evaluation of Doherty to determine whether he is competent enough to go forward with trial and whether a mental illness defense could be used going forward, but it will have to proven that a mental illness was there at the time of the offense.

All criminal proceedings have been suspended pending the outcome of those evaluations.

Doherty is currently under suicide watch at the St Louis County Jail in Virginia.

If he is found guilty on the charge of second degree murder, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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