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A Minneapolis couple is under arrest after authorities say they shot a man in his home following an argument over massage services.
Logan David Slack and Fotini Anest West, both 25, are each charged with one count of second-degree felony murder and one count of second-degree intentional murder for the shooting death of Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, the Dakota County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
According to criminal complaints reviewed by Oxygen.com, Lee called 911 shortly after 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, yelling, “Help me” and “They are trying to get into my house.” Police were then dispatched to Lee’s Inver Grove Heights home — less than 10 miles south of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dispatchers, however, said the “male had gone silent” and it sounded as though the “phone was outside in the wind.”
Unable to gain entry into Lee’s residence through the front door, officers went to the rear, where a glass backdoor was shattered. Officers observed bloody footprints on the carpet and found a deceased Lee in a basement bathroom “laying on the floor in a large quantity of blood.”
Shortly after the discovery, officers spoke with two witnesses outside Lee’s cul-de-sac home, who’d claimed they spotted an unfamiliar dark-colored SUV parked outside Lee’s house on their way home from work.
The neighbors said the SUV drove away from the scene shortly before officers arrived.
A short time later, a separate police officer conducted a traffic stop with a black Toyota SUV carrying three occupants, including Slack and West. The officer, unaware of Lee’s recent homicide, called for backup after West claimed she’d been assaulted.
Responders found West with “blood all over her arms, hands and chest area.”
West told responders she was assaulted by an Asian man when trying to leave his residence.
“She believed she called Slack, and the next thing she remembered was Slack physically carrying her out of the man’s residence,” according to the complaint. “The officer inquired of West where she was bleeding, and West showed the office several cuts under both her arms near her biceps.”
Officers received the call about Lee’s homicide while talking to West.
One of the officers back at the crime scene asked officers at the traffic stop to inspect Slack’s shoes for blood before taking Slack to the police station.
“When Slack exited the squad [car], the officer noticed a large lump in the front of Slack’s sweatshirt pocket, which was determined to be the soles of Slack’s shoes he was wearing,” according to police.
Slack allegedly told authorities he had dropped West off at Lee’s home “for the purpose of performing an erotic massage on Victim in exchange for money.”
West later allegedly came out of Lee’s home and told Slack that Lee had physically assaulted her and threatened to cancel his payment for the massage, per Slack’s statement.
Slack allegedly admitted to taking revolver from the SUV and breaking Lee’s glass back door to enter the house with West. As Slack and West chased him, Lee reportedly retreated to the basement bathroom and locked the door behind him.
As Slack allegedly busted a hole through the bathroom door, Lee called 911.
"Victim attempted to grab West through the hole in the door," the charging documents state. "Slack raised his revolver and pulled the trigger. The revolver was set on an empty chamber, so he pulled the trigger a second time and shot Victim in the back.”
Police reported that Slack allegedly claimed he killed Lee to stop the victim from notifying authorities and then took Lee’s mobile phone to obtain electronic payment for the massage.
Both a revolver and a phone matching Lee’s were found in the Toyota SUV.
"I wish to commend the Inver Grove Police Department for their quick apprehension of those involved in this senseless murder,” stated Dakota County District Attorney Kathy Keena. “My deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Mr. Lee and for their great loss.”
A GoFundMe page describes Lee as a husband and the father of a 2-year-old son who had a “crinkle-eye smile” that “could brighten anyone’s day.”
“He was charming, friendly, and funny. He loved to play volleyball and was known for his positive attitude on and off the court,” loved ones wrote. “He made the best kimchi. He always made an effort to talk to you and make you laugh.”
Slack remains at the Dakota County jail and is being held on $1 million bail without conditions or $700,000 with conditions. West is also being held on $1 million bail or $300,000 with conditions. Both are due to appear before Judge Thomas Pugh on Oct. 5 for their next court appearances.
The third occupant of the SUV, who was not named, was arrested and released, but is not charged in connection with Lee’s murder.
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