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Minn. man indicted on 1st- and 2nd-degree murder of sister

David Michael Otey

BRAINERD, Minn.—A 37-year-old Cambridge, Minn., man was indicted by a grand jury Friday, April 20, in connection with the stabbing death of his sister Danyele Marie Johnson of Ironton, Minn.

David Michael Otey was indicted by a Crow Wing County District Court grand jury in Brainerd on first-degree murder with premeditation, which carries a penalty of life in prison. He also was indicted on second-degree intentional murder. Otey was initially charged on Jan. 16 with felony second-degree intentional murder without premeditation.

The indictment came after the court found Otey competent to stand trial. Court orders required completion of psychiatric evaluations of Otey on an inpatient basis at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minn. A medical examination also was completed to determine whether the defendant presents an imminent risk of serious danger to another, is imminently suicidal, or otherwise needs emergency intervention.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Otey, he left Cambridge at 6:45 a.m. Jan. 13 to travel to the Heartwood Senior Living Community in Crosby, Minn., to meet with his sister, who worked in the kitchen at Heartwood. The visit was unannounced and unexpected. Otey told police he drove throughout the state the previous night thinking about killing his sister.

When Otey arrived, his sister let him into the senior living facility. Otey assisted his sister preparing food for 30 minutes before taking a knife and stabbing her, the complaint stated. A co-worker called law enforcement.

A Crosby police officer was the first to respond. The officer was met by a frantic woman outside Heartwood who let him into the locked facility. Once inside, another frantic co-worker pointed to the kitchen stating, "He's in there!"

The officer drew his weapon, entered the kitchen and saw the defendant kneeling down on the floor. The officer ordered Otey to put his hands up and heard what sounded like a knife drop and bounce off the floor as the defendant complied. The officer moved around the counter and observed Johnson's body in front of Otey, the complaint stated. Otey was taken into custody.

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center paramedics arrived and declared Johnson dead at the scene. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death to be exsanguination due to multiple stab wounds to the body and incised wounds to the neck, the complaint stated. The manner of death was declared a homicide.

After his arrest, Otey gave a statement to law enforcement confessing to killing his sister. He also stated he was thinking about killing other people after killing his sister.

Otey's next court hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 25 in front of Judge Earl E. Maus.

Brainerd public defender Carly Sue Vosacek is representing Otey and Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan is prosecuting the case.

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