Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 3, 2000

McCollum trial continues

By Gail Lipe

The murder trial of Shawn Allen McCollum continues this week. According to Diane Anderson of the Dakota County Attorney's Office, testimony was expected to conclude on Tuesday and closing arguments will be presented today (Wednesday).

McCollum is one of four defendants charged with the first-degree murder of Randy M. Pool of Hutchinson.

Pool's body was discovered in the Clearwater River on July 28.

According to the Hutchinson Leader, Janis C. Amatuzio, a forensic pathologist who is coroner for Wright and other counties in Minnesota, testified that Pool most likely had died five to seven days before the body was found.

Authorities believe Pool was held against his will and repeatedly beaten and tortured in his home in Hutchinson for approximately three days before his death.

McCollum is the first one of six defendants involved in the case to go to trial. Heather Lynn Ecklund, 20 and Isaac Leroy Engstrom, 22, previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder and will be sentenced in May.

According to Mike Junge, McLeod County attorney, their sentences will be under the discretion of the prosecution based on the truthful statements during the trials of McCollum and Toby Earl Johnson, 18, whose trial begins April 11. A sentence of a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 36 years in prison is expected.

Engstrom testified at McCollum's trial for more than two hours Thursday, according to the Hutchinson Leader. He described what happened between July 17 and July 20 while Pool was beaten and murdered.

The evidence presented by the various witnesses is expected to be given to the jury by this afternoon (Wednesday).

Tanya Ann Caldwell, 24 and Richard Patrick Ligenza, 21, previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping Pool. Caldwell was sentenced to four years in prison, and Ligenza was sentenced to three years in prison.

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