MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A South St. Paul man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to shooting and killing a staff sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard in a scheme with the victim’s wife.
Aaron William Allen, 26, agreed to the maximum 40 year penalty in March after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Brandon James Horst (pictured above). Allen admitted to shooting the victim while he slept in his St. Paul home on Aug. 5, 2013.
He also admitted that Horst’s wife, Heather Horst, helped him plan, prep and carry out the murder in exchange for a share of the money from the victim’s life insurance policies. Horst stood to receive $480,000 after her husband’s death.
In his plea deal, Allen agreed to testify against Horst, whom he claimed drove him to the St. Paul home she shared with the victim, insured him that the victim was asleep, drove him away from the crime scene after the shooting and helped dispose of the murder weapon.
Initially, both Allen and Horst were indicted on first-degree murder charges, second-degree murder charges and conspiracy to commit murder in the first and second degree.
In May, Horst was found guilty on all charges. She’ll spend the rest of her life in prison. Allen pled guilty to the second-degree murder charge; the others were dismissed.