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Charges Upgraded For Men Accused Of Killing Farmer, 90

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Two Twin Cities men were re-indicted Thursday for the murder of a 90-year-old Minnesota farmer in April.

Related: Retired Farmer, 90, Found Killed With Hands Bound

The Carver County Attorney's Office says 29-year-old Edson Celin-Dominguez Benitez and 35-year-old Reinol Godines Vergara were charged with two counts each of aiding in first-degree murder while committing a burglary.

Both men were originally charged in May with aiding in second-degree murder, but the charges were ramped up after four witnesses testified to a grand jury earlier this month.

Earl Arthur Olander
Earl Olander (credit: CBS)

Related: Minnesota's 'Sanctuary City' Murder

The criminal complaint says the two men allegedly went to Earl Olander's San Francisco Township home on April 11 to rob him. They entered through an unlocked back door and found Olander sleeping on his couch. They put a blanket over his head and then struck him in the back of the head with a shotgun.

The men then bound Olander's hands with duct tape and beat him before ransacking the house. Olander was found dead by deputies on his living room floor.

Related: 2 Men Arrested In Killing Of 90-Year-Old Carver Co. Farmer

Benitez was caught after someone in his St. Paul apartment discovered two savings bonds in Olander's name. Vergara was arrested one day after Benitez.

Both men are still being held in the Carver County Jail.


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