MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Wright County attorney has charged one man with murder and two others with aiding and abetting murder in connection with the death of a 19-year-old woman from Buffalo.

Shawn Tyler Benson, 21 of Maple Lake, was charged with second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Cheyenne Clough.  Justin Michael Jensen, 28 of Maple Lake, and Edward Victor Zelko, 26 of Buffalo, were both charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the incident.

A girl on the way to school found Cheyenne Clough last Wednesday in Crow Springs County Park with gunshot wounds. Clough died over the weekend.

Investigators tracked five people to near the Canadian border. They arrested four near the border and another person in Todd County.

According to the criminal complaint, an argument between Clough and the two women connected to this case turned ugly. The women were concerned Clough was working with police to turn one of them and her boyfriend in because they had outstanding warrants.

It was enough for one of the men to order her killed.

“Ms. Clough suffered four gunshot wounds at the hand of these three characters with regards to her demise,” Tom Kelly said.

Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly says 28-year-old Justin Jenson, 21-year-old Shawn Benson and 26-year-old Edward Zelko are responsible for Clough’s death.

“With regard to Callie Anderson, with regard to Ms. Brandenburger, Natasha, at this stage we had no overt act other than them being with these individuals to be able to charge them with aiding and abet a homicide after the fact,” Kelly said.

According to the criminal complaint, all five plus Clough were at this Maple Lake house in the early morning hours of June 1. That’s when Clough, Brandenburger and Anderson got into a heated argument.

Jensen then ordered that Clough be killed.

“They are all together, all five plus Ms. Clough, two of them along with Ms. Clough leave and only two come back,” Kelly said.

The criminal complaint says Jensen gave Zelko and Benson a .22-caliber gun. The pair then told Clough they would take her home.

Clough allegedly called her mother around 2:45 a.m., saying, “Are You Up? I’m on my way home,” but she never made it.

Clough was shot four times and left for dead inside Crow Springs County Park near Montrose.

The complaint says Zelko and Benson went back to the Maple Lake house where Benson told Jensen he had killed Clough.

“We have every reason to believe that there was premeditation, there was some thought, there was something going through their brain with regard prior to committing this act,” Kelly said.

A sixth person, 26-year-old Thomas Nicholson, was arrested for aiding and offender.

Investigators have not recovered the gun used in the murder. It’s believed to be in a river near the Canadian border.

Because they believe this to be premeditated, a grand jury will decide if they will face first-degree murder charges, which means life in prison if convicted.

The three men are being held on $1 million bond.

 

Reg Chapman

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