ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Tuesday marks one week since 25-year-old expectant mother Senicha Lessman was killed in Eagan, marking the first known domestic violence homicide in Minnesota of 2017.
According to Dakota County Jail records, her boyfriend and father of her unborn child, Vern Mouelle, has been charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder and one count of first-degree murder of an unborn child in connection with both Lessman’s death and the death of their unborn baby.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women came together with advocates, legislators and law enforcement officials Tuesday to remember Lessman’s life and others cut short due to domestic violence, releasing their annual Femicide Report, which offers an overview of known homicides due to domestic violence in Minnesota last year.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women report shows 21 known domestic violence homicides in Minnesota in 2016. Of those killed, 18 of them were women, two were family members and one was a bystander.
The 2016 numbers compare with 34 people killed in 2015, 23 people killed by domestic violence in 2014 and 38 killed in 2013.