An alleged staged suicide was among the new twists investigators revealed Thursday in the shooting death of Bloomington woman. And authorities in another part of the metro plan to review the death of the suspect’s first wife three years ago.
Richard Monroe Scheibe, a 33-year-old paramedic from Elk River, stands charged with first degree murder in the death of Amy Woollard. The 28-year-old EMT was found shot to death in her Jeep Liberty Monday in a church parking lot about a block from her home.
Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar and investigators laid out the theory of the case against Scheibe during a news conference at Bloomington Police headquarters.
Detective Sgt. Mark Stehlik said soon after officers arrived at the scene of the shooting Monday they began to suspect someone had tampered with the Woollard’s body.
“It became apparent this was a staged scene,” Stehlik told reporters.
The criminal complaint says Woollard was found with a bullet wound above her left ear, clutching a 22-caliber pistol in her right hand along with strands of red hair which matched hers. There was also a blood streaked note, printed on a computer printer, which read “I can’t do this anymore, my life was a lie, may God have mercy.”
But police said the crime scene didn’t add up to a suicide, which led them to question Scheibe. Detectives became convinced that Scheibe shot Woollard in the head at close range and then tried to disguise the shooting as a suicide.
“The evidence indicates he shot her in the head,” Klobuchar said, “And then took the gun put it in her hand and also put the fake suicide note in the car.”
The gun’s registration hasn’t been traced but Woollard’s family maintains she didn’t own any guns and was not suicidal. Klobuchar says the case will go to a grand jury for review, but she believes the crime was premeditated.
“The evidence shows he showed up with a printed suicide note, puts the gun in her hand. And there’s the fact they had an ongoing dispute over child support.”
Investigators say Scheibe at first denied having spoken to Woollard, and told an interrogator he hadn’t seen Woollard for a year. He also said he wasn’t the father of Woollard’s eight-month-old daughter and that she had lied about him in a paternity action.
After further questing Scheibe conceded he had met Woollard in the church parking lot but had left before anything happened. Then, Klobuchar said, Scheibe changed his story again.
“And then he changed his story, said he was at the scene, said there was a struggle over the gun, and that she somehow was accidentally shot.”
Child Support Dispute
Amy Woollard’s boyfriend of six years, Eric Peterson, told police Woollard had gone to meet Scheibe to discuss child support for her baby girl. Woollard was an EMT working at Saint Francis Regional Medical Center and met Scheibe a few years ago on the job. Scheibe has been a paramedic for Allina Medical Transportation since 2000.
Peterson told police that Woollard and Scheibe had a brief affair in 2005 and that Woolard believed Scheibe was the father of her daughter.
Peterson stayed home with the infant while Woollard left to meet Scheibe. He said he called her three times on her cell phone to check on how things were going. When Woollard didn’t answer the third time Peterson went to the church parking lot and found her body in the Jeep with the engine still running.
According to the criminal complaint Scheibe originally denied paying money to Amy Woollard, but then admitted writing her a check in the amount of $1,179. A check for that amount was found inside Woollard’s Jeep, dated August 21st.
Shopping With Daughter
At the time of the shooting, police say, Scheibe’s own five-year-old daughter was nearby waiting in his truck.
“The daughter was present in the vehicle at the time, in HIS vehicle at the time this occurred yes,” said Sgt Stehlik.
Scheibe's told police he didn’t attempt to revive Woollard, but drove his daughter to a Pottery Barn Kids store in Maple Grove. On the way there, he said he tossed his shirt into a gas station trash can. The blood stained shirt and a pair of bloody purple medical gloves were also found wrapped in the shirt.
Scheibe said after shopping at the kids store for a time, he drove to his home in Elk River and took a shower. Police said he was just exiting the shower when they arrived at his house to question him, but that he never asked them why they had come.
Bloomington Police Chief John Laux Thursday thanked Hennepin County and Elk River Police for their assistance in the investigation. He lamented that crimes like this one are far too common in the United States.
“In the United States every single day more than 3 women are murdered as a result of domestic violence,” said Laux.
He also cautioned other women facing similar circumstances to avoid private meetings to discuss child support and paternity issues.
“Our lobby is open and available for these types of meetings, in fact couples come here all the time to discuss matters like this in a secure location.”
In another new development Thursday, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office is taking a second look at the 2003 death of Scheibe's wife Mindi.
“We were called to his home in Oak Grove. He was doing CPR on her,” Captain Bob Aldrich told KARE-TV Thursday of the night of August 20th, 2003.
He said the coroner, Dr. Janis Amatuzio of Midwest Pathology, ruled the 29-year-old woman died of natural causes.
“The coroner’s report at the time ruled natural causes due to a coronary blockage,” said Aldrich.
But with two women in Scheibe’s life both suffering sudden deaths the department is going to take a second look at Mindi Scheibe case.
“I think we just thought it my prudent to pull the file again and review our procedures and processes, make sure we didn't miss anything, review the coroner's work, sit down with the coroner and talk it over.”
Richard Scheibe remains jailed in Hennepin County in lieu of $3 million bail. His first court appearance is Friday.
By John Croman, KARE 11 News.