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News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune, Published June 26 2013

Cloquet, Minn., man charged with conspiracy to commit murder

Carlton County authorities have charged a Cloquet man with two felonies for his alleged role in a January shooting.

John Edwin Bemis III, 38, was charged in State District Court with conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree and assault in the first degree — aiding and abetting. He is expected to appear in District Court in Carlton on the new charges at 11:15 a.m. today.

Bemis, was reported missing by his family two days after his ex-wife, Marie Majerle, was arrested and charged with attempted homicide for allegedly shooting her estranged husband, Richard Alan Majerle, in the upper chest at his home in the Erickson Acres neighborhood of Cloquet on Jan. 6.

Marie Majerle also was charged with removing or altering a serial number on that firearm. She had been staying with Bemis and their 14-year-old daughter prior to the shooting. Police had searched the Bemis residence the day after and discovered a drill press with fresh metal shavings “consistent with the gun where the serial numbers were shaved off,” Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler told the court when Marie Majerle was arraigned.

Bemis disappeared the next day, taking with him a large amount of cash, a truck and an ATV and leaving behind his teenage daughter. Although the daughter has been living with family friends since then, on Jan. 30, Pertler filed charges against Bemis for gross misdemeanor charges of child abandonment. The Carlton County Sheriff’s Department issued an arrest warrant for Bemis.

He was picked up in Reno, Nev., and extradited to Minnesota on June 25. He is being held at the Carlton County Law Enforcement Center.