ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — On Wednesday, a grand jury in Ramsey County indicted two people in connection with the shooting death of a Minnesota National Guard sergeant last month, one of whom was the victim’s wife.
Both 24-year-old Heather Leanne Horst, of St. Paul, and 25-year-old Aaron Allen, of South St. Paul, face charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit a felony in the death of Brandon James Horst.
Horst was a staff sergeant with the Minnesota National Guard’s 133rd Security Force Squadron.
Police said Horst, 25, was killed on Aug. 5 on the 400 block of Bellows Street. This marked the second time officers had responded to the scene in the space of a month. In July, Horst’s wife called police and said she thought she heard intruders in her house.
Allen is engaged to the victim’s stepsister. The charges state he has a prior conviction for fondling a girl as she slept and then threatening her with a knife.
The criminal complaint says that witnesses heard Heather Horst tell Allen that her husband had been abusive and that “the only way she could be free was if he were dead.”
Allen’s stepsister alerted investigators to the conversations she had observed between the two accused in the crime. She said that Heather Horst told her Allen had shot her husband once or twice in the head.
The complaint says that Heather Horst and Allen discussed the victim’s life insurance policies — a military life insurance policy in the amount of $400,000 and another policy from the federal government worth $80,000, both of which listed Heather Horst as the sole beneficiary.