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Long Prairie man pleads not guilty to murder charge

Jose Raul Herrera-Torres

A 35-year-old Long Prairie man accused of using a knife to kill his girlfriend pleaded not guilty.

Jose Raul Herrera-Torres, who is charged with second-degree murder, entered the plea in Todd County District Court Oct. 9. A jury trial was scheduled for Nov. 28.

He remains in custody on a $1 million bond, with conditions.

The criminal complaint alleges that Herrera-Torres stabbed Dominga Mejia Guerrero, 58, at their home at 451 Todd Street South in Long Prairie on Thursday, July 27.

Her body was found at about 8 p.m. that night by another person who lived at the residence and called police. Authorities said Guerrero died of apparent knife wounds.

Investigators talked with a neighbor from across the street who reportedly saw Guerrero sitting outside on a step talking on a cell phone at about 5:30 p.m. that night. A few minutes later, the neighbor said, Herrera-Torres arrived in his Ford Focus.

The witness reported hearing what sounded like "glass breaking or something being thrown into a garbage can," along with yelling from inside the house.

Herrera-Torres didn't go to work the next morning and withdrew cash from his credit union in Cold Spring, according to the complaint.

On July 28, the Long Prairie Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued an alert asking for the public's help in locating Herrera-Torres. They received a call from the Long Prairie CentraCare Hospital that Herrera-Torres was being treated in the emergency room for knife abrasions on both forearms. His clothing was also covered in blood, according to the hospital.

Officers found Herrera-Torres' Focus in the hospital parking lot with red stains and smudges, according to the complaint.

Herrera-Torres was transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital. While he was in his hospital bed, he asked an officer, "How is Dominga doing?" according to the complaint.

Second-degree murder contends that a person caused the death of someone else but without premeditation.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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