Sandra and Joseph Couture charged with Threatening Witnesses

By KBJR News 1

July 31, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands Newscenter)
-- Criminal complaints say that Sandra Couture and Joseph Couture have been charged with multiple felonies involving tampering with a witness.

Joseph Couture has been charged with Second Degree Murder and Criminal Sexual Conduct involving the death of Trina Langenbrunner in 2000.

He and his girlfriend are now charged with threatening witnesses.

The complaint says that Joseph Couture has a history of threatening witnesses, and conspired with Sandra Couture to threaten and harass the witnesses against him in the murder of Langenbrunner.

Investigators monitored phone calls between Sandra Couture and Joseph Couture from the Saint Louis County Jail, and picked up on a code the two were using to communicate.

Investigators say they were able to discern a code for witness intimidation. Discussions about "fishing" meant looking for witnesses and their relatives," getting my money" related to recanting statements from witnesses, and "Note" or "invite" meant messages sent to witnesses, attempting to threaten them into recanting their statements.

According to the complaint, witnesses told investigators that intimidation, including threatening phone calls and stalking were taking place in July.

An arson fire is also included in the complaint. The property of a relative of one of the witnesses was destroyed in a blaze.