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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Apmann not located, defense rests, Jury now deliberating

It was a very busy morning at the Cottonwood County Courthouse for everyone involved in sorting through the Ralph Leslie Apmann murder trial.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m., the case went to a jury of three men and nine women for deliberations. At this report, the jury is considering the facts of the case and seeks to render either a “guilty,” or “not guilty” verdict.

The prosecution rested on Friday. Today, the defense rested without calling any witnesses.

The case is connected to the Aug. 26, 2021 death of Juan Luis Morales-Rivera of Worthington, who was found just outside the back door of the Phat Pheasant Pub, shortly after 12:40 a.m. It is the county’s first murder trial in 25 years. Apmann, a Windom resident who had been at the Phat Pheasant Pub that night, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder without intent.

This morning began with a discussion among attorneys for both sides and Judge Christina Weitzema on whether to proceed despite the fact that Apmann remains missing and was not present in court today.

The decision was made to move forward without Apmann.

Apmann failed to appear in court yesterday morning when the day’s proceedings began. What followed, yesterday, were reports that he had left home and that his handgun was missing. As a result, Windom schools went into a soft lockdown. At last report, Apmann was believed to be in the Twin Cities area as of yesterday afternoon.

As a result, the jury was dismissed for the day and not told the reason. Jurors were reminded not to talk to anyone about the case, or see any media reports on the case.

It is unknown whether the jury will reach a verdict today.

For much more on this story and updates on the jury’s verdict, watch windomnews.com and check the Feb. 15 edition of the Cottonwood County Citizen and Citizen eEdition.

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