MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – More than two years after the death of an Oakdale woman, and months of delays, the murder trial for her ex-boyfriend started Tuesday.
Aaron Schnagl is charged with third-degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Jelinek.
Jury selection started Tuesday at the Chisago County Courthouse. A judge gave 48 potential jurors a questionnaire, and those who make the preliminary cut will return Wednesday.
A judge has blocked off three to four weeks for the trial of Schnagl. The trail was supposed to happen last June, but it was delayed.
A Chisago County grand jury indicted Schnagl on third-degree murder charges back in December 2013 for the death of 27-year old Jelinek.
Jelinek was reported missing on Dec. 9, 2012. Hundreds of volunteers spent five months searching for her. She had reportedly been with Schnagl, her ex-boyfriend, at his Chisago Lake Township residence before she went missing.
Investigators searched Schnagl's property in the days after Jelinek's disappearance. They found her purse, shoes and cell phone.
Case documents said Schnagl told authorities he was with Jelinek one day before she was reported missing.
He said they were drinking, and then went to bed around 2:30 a.m. When he woke up the next morning, she was gone. Investigators say they believe Schnagl gave Jelinek some kind of drug which led to her death.
At the time, Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 reward for information in her disappearance.
Her remains were later found in a small body of water near the defendant's home.
Schnagl is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year jail sentence for cocaine possession. If he is convicted on the murder charge, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
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