On July 17, William Nickaboine, 19, disappeared from a Vineland home. His body was found several days later and his death ruled a homicide. It was the first murder in Mille Lacs County since 2007, when Jeremy Hull killed Lewis Wilczek, whose body was found in a gravel pit west of Milaca. Those convicted of murder in the county are serving or have served sentences ranging from life in prison for first-degree murder to a few years for criminal vehicular homicide.
The two men accused of Nickaboine’s murder are charged with two counts of second-degree murder: one intentional and one “felony murder” — the unintentional taking of a life while committing another felony, in this case assault.
State sentencing guidelines for intentional second-degree murder are 306 months (25.5 years) to 426 months (35.5 years) depending on the criminal history score of the murderer.
For unintentional felony murder, the sentences are less severe: 150 to 240 months (12 to 20 years).
Those convicted of second-degree murder in northern Mille Lacs County in recent years have been sentenced to 20 to 26 years. Most serve 14 to 20 years in prison.
Following is a summary of murder cases in Mille Lacs County during the past two decades.
Photo right: William Nickaboine.
1991: Kathy Hickerson stabbed to death
Curtis Shannon was admitted to prison March 25, 1991, after stabbing Kathy Hickerson of Isle to death. He pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in January of 1991 and was sentenced to 300 months (25 years). He served approximately 19 years and has been on supervised release since May 24, 2010.
Photo right: Kathy Hickerson.
1997: Dallas Anderson convicted of killing his child
Dallas Anderson was admitted to the Stillwater Correctional Facility in January of 1997 after being convicted of second-degree unintentional murder after pushing his 15-month-old son down the stairs in November of 1996. He has an anticipated release date of Sept. 19 of this year. He was originally sentenced to 225 months (18 3/4 years) and will likely serve approximately 14.
1998: Michael Bakke shoots James Lehnhoff
Michael Bakke was admitted to prison Dec. 18, 2000, and is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for the shooting death of James Lehnhoff at a restaurant on Sept. 8, 1998. County Attorney Janelle Kendall said at the time that Bakke would receive a mandatory 30 years in prison before any chance of parole on the first-degree murder charge and another 13 years on a lesser charge. She requested that the sentences be served consecutively rather than concurrently. He is still in prison with no anticipated release date.
1999: Remus Garbow killed by Irwin Sam
Irwin Sam is serving time in the Stillwater Correctional Facility for two counts of second-degree intentional murder after killing Remus Garbow in August of 1999. He was sentenced May 31, 2000, to 25 years and admitted to prison June 2, 2000. He has an anticipated release date of Nov. 14, 2016.
2000: Beth Cunz killed by drunk driver
Beth Ann Cunz of Onamia was killed by James Mitchell, who was driving drunk. Mitchell was convicted of criminal vehicular operation and sentenced to nine years in prison.
2001: Shawn Jackson killed in car accident
Jackson was killed Aug. 25, 2001. Daniel Weyaus pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide Oct. 22, 2001. He was sentenced to 58 months.
2003: Melvin Eagle, Jr., beaten to death
Three men were charged with beating Eagle to death in the home of his girlfriend on Jan. 5, 2003.
Roger Garbow is serving time in Stillwater for the 2003 intentional second-degree murder of Melvin Eagle, Jr. with an anticipated release June 16, 2020. He was sentenced to 26 years and admitted to Stillwater Oct. 29, 2003.
Coleman Weous was convicted of felony murder in February of 2004 but acquitted of an intentional murder charge. He was admitted to the correctional facility in Moose Lake in April of 2004 and has an anticipated release date of May 11, 2016.
A third man, who was a juvenile at the time, pleaded guilty April 16, 2004, to aiding and abetting Eagle’s murder. He was admitted to the Stillwater Correctional Facility in June of 2004 and has an anticipated release date of April 21, 2011.
2003: Christopher Smith stabbed to death
Christopher Smith was killed by Daryl Murphy in July 2003. Murphy was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) on March 31, 2004. Murphy was found not guilty of intentional murder and guilty of two counts of felony murder. His anticipated release date is Aug. 26, 2013.
2004: Kelly Braun pleads guilty to killing child
Braun was initially charged with first- and second-degree murder, but he pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and was sentenced to 225 months (18.75 years). He was admitted to prison in May of 2006 and has an anticipated release date of April 2017.
2005: Julie Ann Nayquonabe murdered
Danielle Boyd pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the April 2005 death of Julie Ann Nayquonabe (aka Nickaboine), 35. Boyd was admitted to prison Dec. 16, 2005, with an anticipated release date of April 1, 2019. She was sentenced to 251 months (over 20 years)
Photo right: Julie Nayquonabe.
2007: Jeremy Hull kills Lewis Wilczek
Jeremy Hull was sentenced to life without parole in November of 2008 for the first-degree murder of Lewis Wilczek of Little Falls. He was tried and convicted in Mille Lacs County because the body was found in a gravel pit west of Milaca.
2010: Passion Hard Heart, William Nickaboine killed
Jona Fineday has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Passion Hard Heart, a 16-year-old hit by Fineday’s car. Dawn Siquina is charged with manslaughter for allegedly providing Hard Heart with alcohol.
Joshua Boyd and Aaron Beaulieu are charged with second-degree murder in the death of William Nickaboine.
No one has yet been charged in the deaths of Sherrilyn Mitchell and Deanna Anderson, two other teens killed in recent months. Their deaths are still under investigation.