Man charged with murder after St. Paul attempted robbery

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul man is charged with murder in connection to the attempted armed robbery of a man who tried to fight back.

Benjamin Lee Harris, 29, of St. Paul is charged with two counts of second-degree murder for shooting and killing 41-year-old Jason Mikulak, of North St. Paul, in the early morning hours on Sept. 1.

According to the charges, the victim's girlfriend told police Harris approached their vehicle while they were parked on the 1200 block of Galtier Street and displayed a handgun. He was wearing a white bandana over his face and demanded they "open the door." 

She told police Mikulak unlocked the driver's side door and Harris opened it, demanding money from the couple. She said she dug out a $20 bill and placed it on top of the car. Harris allegedly demanded she bring him the money so she began to follow his orders when Mikulak jumped out of the vehicle and tried to disarm him. 

Charges say Harris shot him twice and ran north. 

Investigators were able to match fingerprints from the driver's side door handle to Harris. They also obtained surveillance video from his apartment building that shows him looking "hurried and nervous" to get into the building shortly after the shooting occurred. 

Harris was arrested on Sept. 6 and a search warrant was executed at his apartment. Inside, authorities found the white bandana from the attempted robbery in the living room. 

Harris has previous convictions for aggravated robbery in 2010 and another in 2007.


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