Until the fall ofMichael John Anderson, a socially awkward alternative high-school dropout, used Craigslist mostly to buy and sell truck parts. But then the teenager who could barely talk to members of the opposite sex suddenly turned to the classified ad website to lure unsuspecting women to his home. He posted at least a dozensome seeking "sexy-voiced women and models," others actresses and babysitters. Katherine Ann Olson responded and showed up to the home in Savage on Oct. The next day she was found dead, stowed in the trunk of her own car.
Anderson's desire for sex was what ultimately led to the accidental shooting of Olson, his defense attorney, Alan Margoles, argued Monday, revealing for the first time a possible motive behind the killing during opening statements at Anderson's first-degree murder trial. The evidence will show this guy was too scared of unattached girls to even open his mouth around them.
Anderson's social awkwardness led to the onlineMargoles said, adding that Anderson lured Olson to the home he shared with his parents "for sex or some odd consequence of romance. Prosecutors say Anderson lured Olson, 24, to the home with intent to kill, shot her in the back and hid her body in the trunk of her car, which later was found in a Burnsville park.
There was no evidence of sexual assault. Assistant Scott County Attorney Michael Groh used a slideshow to detail the events leading up to the discovery of Olson's body, including how she likely bled to death, alone, wrapped in a sleeping bag in the trunk of her own car.
She may have taken up to 20 minutes to bleed to death, Groh said. Anderson, who traded in his green jail jumpsuit for a suit, sat quietly while the jury of eight men and seven women viewed photos of the victim.
One showed a smiling Olson, holding one of the children she baby-sat with; another photo showed her body as it was discovered. Some members of Olson's family wiped their eyes.
Margoles never disputed that Anderson shot Olson, but argued that his motives for doing so did not involve thrill-killing, as prosecutors have asserted. The blatant evidence of Anderson's guilt, his attorney said -- including stuffing a blood-soaked towel with his own name on it in a garbage can and the electronic evidence linking him to the onlineshow the opposite of premeditation, Margoles said.
But Groh said Anderson's actions after the killing showed complete lack of remorse -- if not pride for his actions.
When a friend asked why Anderson didn't just plead insanity, Anderson responded with "'Because I'd have to pretend I'm sorry,'" Groh said. In pretrial hearings, the defense revealed that its psychiatrists diagnosed Anderson with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism sometimes characterized by clumsiness and eccentric speech and behavior.
The defense argued that the disorder would help explain Anderson's behavior, while the prosecution argued that the claim amounted to a diminished-capacity defense. District Judge Mary Theisen ruled before the trial began that the defense's argument was insufficient to show that the disorder had anything to do with Olson's death.
The defense lawyer told jurors Monday: "The prosecution will spend day after day after day showing you the evidence that we just admitted. He also warned jurors not to let emotions cloud the facts, the central fact being that Anderson did not premeditate Olson's death. You will want to close your eyes. You will want to close your ears.
Please, don't close your mind," Margoles said. Two of 57 potential witnesses took the stand in the first day of the anticipated three-week trial.
Among them were Savage police officer Joseph Suel, who was among the authorities who found Olson's purse in a trash can at Warren Butler Park in Savage and later her body. Olson's mother, Nancy Olson of Cottage Grove, also discussed the last time she saw her daughter alive.
She was singing in the church choir at Richfield Lutheran Church, where her father, Rolf Olson, is the pastor. Over the next few days, the panicked search for a daughter she described as "like trying to describe a cloud" ended in tragedy. Her team covers crime and courts across the metro.
She ed the Star Tribune in and ly reported on crime, courts and politics. Home All Sections. Log In Welcome, User. Coronavirus Minneapolis St. Paul Duluth St. Six carjackings, attempts over two hours Monday evening in Minneapolis.
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South Metro Defense: Shy youth's desire for sex led to 'Craigslist' killing Michael John Anderson's lawyer said the killing was not premeditated. The prosecutor said the teen showed no remorse.
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