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Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune, Published March 29 2013

Duluth teen accused of murder appears in court

The Duluth teenager accused of stabbing and bludgeoning to death a Lincoln Park man in his residence earlier this month appeared in juvenile court Thursday as the prosecution argued that there is sufficient evidence for him to stand trial for murder.

Enrique Robert Giner IV, 17, is charged by juvenile delinquent petition with intentional second-degree murder in the death of Bryan Alan Starnes, 27, whose body was found at his residence on March 9. An autopsy revealed that Starnes was the victim of blunt force trauma to his head and body inflicted by a hammer and a knife-like instrument.

Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Angie Shambour submitted to the court 381 pages of Duluth police reports and four CDs documenting evidence gathered against Giner.

According to police, Giner has been identified as the last person to be seen with the victim when he was alive. Investigators observed scrape marks and two cuts on the teenager’s right hand. Giner said he cut his hand playing with a knife.

Someone called 911 to report Giner sold him a hookah pipe and PlayStation 3 console on that Sunday. Police say the property has been identified as coming from the victim’s residence. The call documented that the reporting party was with Kenneth Russel Johnson, 33, the boyfriend of Giner’s mother.

Johnson, subsequently, has been charged with aiding an offender. Johnson is accused of intentionally aiding Giner by destroying or concealing evidence of that crime, providing false or misleading information about the crime or receiving proceeds of the crime or otherwise obstructing the investigation of the crime. Police said that Johnson aided Giner in selling property stolen from Starnes’ residence.

Judge David Johnson took under advisement the matter of probable cause and will rule at a later date.

If the court finds sufficient probable cause for the murder charge to go forward, the county attorney’s office will seek to try Giner as an adult.

Under Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Delinquency Procedure, it is presumed that a juvenile who commits an offense that would result in a commitment to prison under sentencing guidelines will be treated as an adult if he was at least 16 years old at the time of the offense.

The presumption of adult certification is overcome if the juvenile demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that retaining the proceedings in juvenile court serves public safety.

Starnes was born in West Valley City, Utah, and grew up in Overton, Nev. He received an honorable discharge after serving as a cavalry scout with the Army. He was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.