Minnesota Teen To Face Separate Trials For Iowa Slayings

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) — A Minnesota teenager charged with killing two convenience store clerks in Iowa will face separate trials.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Swanson of St. Louis Park, Minn., faces two sets of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges in the November shooting deaths of 61-year-old Sheila Myers in Humboldt and 47-year-old Vicky Bowman Hall in Algona.

The Des Moines Register reports that Kossuth County District Judge David Lester ruled Tuesday that he can’t merge the trials because the crimes happened in different counties and judicial districts.

Swanson’s attorney, Charles Kenville argued the trials should be merged because he plans to use the insanity defense in both cases.

Kenville’s spokeswoman says he couldn’t comment because he had not received a copy of the decision.

Kossuth County Attorney Todd Holmes says he’s pleased with the ruling.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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