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Charges: Minneapolis man killed, set on fire over $2,800 in rent money

WCCO digital update: Afternoon of June 18, 2024
WCCO digital update: Afternoon of June 18, 2024 01:43

MINNEAPOLIS — A 42-year-old from St. Paul has been charged with killing a man before starting a small fire inside the basement of a Minneapolis building over four years ago.

The man is facing two counts of first-degree arson and one count of second-degree murder for the death of 52-year-old Wayne Arvidson on Feb. 28, 2020.

Crews responded to a fire on the 1800 block of Central Avenue shortly after 2:30 a.m. After the fire was out, firefighters discovered Arvidson's body inside.

An autopsy revealed that Arvidson had suffered multiple blunt force injuries and had died before being set on fire, charges say.

Investigators learned that Arvidson was a tenant of the building but was in the process of being evicted due to not paying his rent. Arvidson is reported to have sublet a room to the suspect.

In an interview with investigators, the suspect allegedly admitted that Arvidson "cheated him out of approximately $2,800 of rent money," saying he had paid Arvidson the money for rent but it had not been paid to the landlord.

According to the complaint, officers were able to use the suspect's DNA to compare it to items from the crime scene. Results concluded that the suspect's DNA had a "very strong" match to DNA found on a lighter near the victim.

Charges say the suspect's phone had been at the building at the time of the murder.

The suspect was arrested on Monday.

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