June 27, 2011 - 10:00 am - Posted in News

A Carroll County jury took less than an hour Thursday to convict a Minnesota teen in the murder of a Humboldt convenience store clerk.

The defense had argued that Michael Swanson was insane on November 15th when he robbed the Kum & Go convenience store in Humboldt, and shot 61 year old store clerk Sheila Myers in the face.

Swanson admitted to police that he knew he was going to shoot Myers while he sat in his car outside  the Humboldt convenience store, and chambered a round into the gun. After the shooting, he said he didnt call 911 because he figured she was dead.

In closing arguments, the prosecution and defense battled over the issue of Swansons sanity at the time of his crime. Legal insanity requires a person to not know right from wrong, or not appreciate the nature of an action.  The Carroll County jury decided that Swanson acted with premeditation and did know right from wrong when he killed Myers.  Swanson’s 1st Degree Murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.  He’ll be sentenced at a later date.  His trial was moved to Carroll County on a change of venue.

Swanson is also charged with a similar crime that happened in Algona about an hour before the robbery and murder in Humboldt.  In that case he’s accused of robbing a convenience store, and shooting that store’s clerk, 47-year old Vicki Bowman-Hall, to death.  Swanson’s trial in that case is scheduled to begin in July at the Lyon County Courthouse in Rock Rapids, where it was moved on a change of venue.

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