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Demetrius Wynne Found Guilty In Death Of Minneapolis Artist Susan Spiller

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A jury has found a 21-year-old man guilty of one murder count in the death of a popular artist inside her north Minneapolis home in 2015.

Demetrius Wynne was 14 at the time of Susan Spiller's killing. Four years later, he was arrested and charged with her murder after authorities say they matched fingerprints found on a window of Spiller's home to Wynne.

The jury split the verdict, finding Wynne guilty of unpremeditated murder, but not murder with intent.

RELATED: 'She Gave A Whole Lot': Friends Of Susan Spiller React To Murder Charges Against Demetrius Wynne

A Hennepin County District Court judge ordered Wynne to stand trial as an adult.

Demetrius Wynne
Demetrius Wynne (credit: Hennepin Co. Jail)

Wynne and his family lived next door to Spiller at the time of the killing.

Police believe he broke into Spiller's home through a back window and violently attacked and killed her on either July 15 or July 16 in 2015. Spiller was later found beaten, strangled and stabbed five times. Her cellphone was also missing.

Spiller was a prominent artist and community activist who was also on the board of a neighborhood association on Minneapolis' North Side. She was known for a friendly and loving heart in a close-knit artist's community.

Recently retired, Spiller also spent her time volunteering for a greyhound rescue group.

Susan Spiller
(credit: CBS)

After the verdict was read, Spiller's son, Jason, spoke to the media.

"My family and I are extremely pleased that justice has been served today for my mother," he said. "Susan Spiller was loved by all and did not deserve the brutality she had to endure in her death. She was loving, caring, compassionate, strong at heart and fought till the bitter end."

Wynne's father took issue with how the trial played out.

"They allowed a state's attorney to admit that he knew the police officer was lying in court and he had the nerve to say he didn't even care," he said. "That s**t's bogus, man."

"I understand the verdict [of one guilty charge and one not guilty charge]," said Ira Whitlock, Wynne's attorney. "From a humanistic standpoint, it seems either all or nothing, so I'm disappointed for him and the family."

Several family members and friends of Spiller's wore purple in her honor.

"It's something that reminds me of her," Jason said. "She was so colorful, so vibrant in life."

Minnesota guidelines call for a 25.5-year sentence, but prosecutors say they'll be requesting 30 years.

Wynne's father says they'll be appealing the verdict.


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