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Candace Renalls, Forum Communications, Published July 30 2012

Minn. grand jury indicts man in wife's totem pole death

A man suspected in the totem pole death of his wife will appear in Koochiching County Courthouse Tuesday morning on an indictment of first- and second-degree murder.

Carl Chester Muggli of Ray, Minn., was already facing a second-degree intentional murder charge in the death of his wife when a grand jury returned the indictment Thursday, charging him with first-degree premeditated murder as well as second-degree murder.

The grand jury was convened last week to consider the case, said Koochiching County Attorney Jeffrey Naglosky.

Muggli, 50, is accused in the November 2010 death of his wife, Linda, 61, who died of severe head trauma when a log the couple had been carving for a totem pole fell on her.

Muggli had been free on bond when the indictment was returned. He was re-arrested and brought to the courthouse where State District Court Judge Charles LeDuc set bail at $1 million cash.

The first-degree murder charge, which only a grand jury can return, carries a sentence of life in prison, if he is convicted.