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Forum Communications, Published October 29 2012

Totem pole trial moved to Bemidji

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. - If the 17-foot log totem pole-in-progress that Carl Muggli is accused of using to slay his wife is introduced into evidence as a murder weapon, it will probably have to be transported from International Falls to Bemidji.

After ruling last month that prejudicial pretrial publicity against Muggli required that the case be moved to another county to obtain a fair and impartial trial, State District Court Judge Charles LeDuc has now ordered that the trial be held at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, 114 miles southwest of the Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls.

Muggli, 50, is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and intentional second-degree murder in the Nov. 26, 2010, death of his wife, Linda, 61, who died of severe head trauma when the 17-foot log the couple had been carving for a totem pole landed on her.

The trial is scheduled to start Jan. 14.