Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 1, 2003

Two charged in Biscay murder

By Ryan Gueningsman

Two men were charged Friday in connection with the death of a 48-year-old man in Biscay early Tuesday morning.

Louis Wayne Jensen, 27, of Mizpah, Minn., was charged with two counts of second degree murder, which bears a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment for each charge, for the death of Stewart Sheppard.

Jensen was also charged with third degree assault, which carries an additional five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

Late Monday night at the old Biscay schoolhouse, a fight took place between Sheppard and Jensen, in which Jensen punched Sheppard in the mouth. This caused him to fall and hit his head on the floor, according to the criminal complaint.

Sheppard was dragged into a bathroom by Jensen, and at some point received a "blunt force injury to the top of his head," according to the complaint.

About an hour after the fight occurred, Thomas Robert Rust, 45, of Silver Lake, arrived at the schoolhouse, according to the complaint.

In effort to keep Jensen out of trouble, according to the complaint, Jensen, Rust, and Letitia Rust agreed to create a story that Sheppard had fallen down the stairs.

As a result of these actions, medical treatment to Sheppard was delayed by an hour, contributing to his death, according to the complaint.

Thomas Rust is being charged with second degree manslaughter, which bears a penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and/or a $20,000 fine.

Second degree manslaughter means assisting in the cause of death of another by "culpable negligence . . . created an unreasonable risk and consciously took chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another," according to the complaint.

Rust is also charged with tampering with a witness (Letitia Rust), in which he "unlawfully coerced or attempted to coerce a person to provide false information concerning a crime to law enforcement," according to the complaint. The penalty for this is 20 years imprisonment, and/ or a $30,000 fine.

As of Friday afternoon, the two were awaiting bail to be set.

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