MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 60-year-old St. James man has been found guilty on all counts for murdering his wife after an argument about how he forgot their wedding anniversary, and then killing his stepdaughter who tried fleeing from him.
According to a representative from the Watonwan County Attorney’s Office, Scott Engelbrecht was found guilty to two counts of first-degree premediated murder, two counts of second-degree murder with intent and second-degree assault in connection to the June 16, 2018 incident.
According to a criminal complaint, the shooting happened at a home on the 1100 block of First Avenue South in St. James, a community about 120 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
A relative reported to police that Engelbrecht and his wife, Joyce Engelbrecht, were arguing that evening about how he had forgotten their wedding anniversary this year and the past several years. Not long after, the relative heard a loud thud and Rachel Elaine Linder, Engelbrecht’s stepdaughter, screaming: “You shot her, you bastard!”
The relative grabbed a stun gun and ran upstairs from the basement, where he was watching TV. He found Engelbrecht with a .22-calibre rifle and told Linder to run as fast she could. After failing to shoot Engelbrecht with the stun gun, the relative ran back downstairs, locked himself in the bathroom and called police.
Responding officers found Engelbrecht in the home’s backyard with a .22-calibre rifle. When told to drop his weapon, he leaned it against a tree and said, “I shot her…I did it,” the complaint states. Engelbrecht held out his wrists to be handcuffed.
Police found Joyce Engelbrecht inside the home with a gunshot wound to her forehead. She was breathing and seemed to be alert. Emergency crews brought her to a hospital, where she died less than a day later.
Officers found Linder’s body on the porch of a nearby house. She had suffered three gunshot wounds, one to her left forearm, one to her back and one to her head, which was fired at close range.
In his statements to police, Engelbrecht did not deny shooting either his wife or his stepdaughter.
Engelbrecht’s sentencing date has not yet been set.