WILLMAR, Minn. – In a packed Kandiyohi County courtroom Thursday morning, Nov. 8, two suspects were arraigned in connection with the death of David Medellin Jr., 24, of Willmar.
Caleb Aaron Blue, 35, of Willmar, was charged with one count of second-degree murder – with intent – not premeditated for allegedly causing the death of Medellin sometime between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31.
He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $2 million unconditional bail and $1 million conditional bail. Blue is also known as Caleb Aaron Jorgenson, according to court records.
Lori Jean Harris Gafkjen, 51, of nearby Brooten, is charged with two counts of aiding an offender – an accomplice after the fact, and one count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest – harbor or conceal. All three charges are felonies.
She is being held in the Renville County Jail on $500,000 unconditional bail and $250,000 conditional bail. Court records show she was formerly known as Lori Jean Glesne and changed her name last month after a divorce.
The two made separate court appearances Thursday before different judges.
Both spoke little during their appearances, other than responding to questions from the bench. Blue cast a look back at the spectators in the courtroom as he was led out by sheriff’s deputies. Gafkjen sobbed intermittently and bowed her head while the terms of her bail were discussed.
According to the complaints filed against Blue and Gafkjen, the victim was found dead with stab wounds in the back in a muddy farm field east of Willmar. Two farmers found the body Oct. 31 while harvesting grain.
Medellin’s fiance said last week that she had last heard from him on the afternoon of Oct. 24. He was reportedly traveling back home with a friend but never showed up and did not return her texts or calls. He also failed to show up for work at a local dairy farm on the morning of Oct. 25.
Court documents outline a complicated series of events over the next few days, pieced together through interviews with the suspects and witnesses and through the law enforcement investigation.
Blue and Medellin reportedly were seen on video in the Jackpot Junction casino near Morton in the early morning hours of Oct. 25.
According to the complaint, Blue allegedly drove Medellin back to Willmar and made him get out of the vehicle on a gravel rural road. Blue allegedly stabbed Medellin, who then ran into the field.
Under questioning by law enforcement Nov. 5 after his arrest, Blue allegedly said he chased Medellin into the field and left the field after Medellin was dead.
Blue called Gafkjen to pick him up, saying he had car trouble, and asked her to take him to a doctor because he had cut his hand.
She allegedly took him to receive medical care in Glenwood.
Gafkjen was arrested Nov. 5 in Anoka County in a hotel parking lot where she was allegedly set to meet Blue.
Shortly before she arrived at the hotel, Blue reportedly jumped out of the hotel window and attempted to get to his vehicle in the parking lot as law enforcement approached.
No motive for the stabbing has been disclosed in the court documents.
Gafkjen allegedly told law enforcement that Blue told her “it had to be done.”
According to the complaint, Gafkjen and Blue became acquainted while he was incarcerated in the Kandiyohi County Jail and she was working at the jail as a Kandiyohi County corrections officer. She no longer works at the jail and was not an employee there during the month of October. In the complaint Gafkjen is described as Blue’s girlfriend/roommate.
Court appearances for both defendants are scheduled later this month. Blue is slated for a hearing Nov. 21 and Gafkjen’s next appearance is Nov. 28.