MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Shorewood woman stopped her trial when she pleaded guilty to murdering her boyfriend and stuffing him in a freezer, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Jetaun Wheeler’s trial was entering the fourth day when she pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder in the death of 58-year-old Eddie Frank Sole.
According to the criminal complaint, Sole’s brother went to the South Lake Minnetonka Police on Aug. 13, 2013 to report his brother’s disappearance. Wheeler wasn’t helpful in providing Sole’s whereabouts, saying she put him on a bus on Aug. 3 back to Chicago because the couple had been having issues.
Later, on Aug. 21, 2013, police went to Wheeler’s Shorewood home and executed a search warrant. Inside her garage, police found a new freezer behind two mattresses with Sole’s body inside, wrapped in plastic and duct tape.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said an autopsy on Saturday revealed he had blunt force trauma injuries to his face and head, including significant lacerations to his left eye and the left side of his head. He also had contusions to both of his upper arms, defensive wounds to the back of his hands and hemorrhaging in the muscles of his neck.
Wheeler’s defense attorney said she did buy the freezer, but argued that his death was unintentional and the result of self-defense during a fight where she used a closet rod as a weapon.
Wheeler’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21. Prosecutors will be seeking 15 years in prison, which is the maximum sentence allowed for the crime under Minnesota law.
“While the presentation of our case was going well, we would have needed Wheeler’s pre-teen children to testify and that would have been terribly difficult for them,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “By pleading guilty, it spares her children and she will still do significant time in prison.”