ANOKA, Minn. - An Anoka man stands charged with two counts of second degree murder in the brutal beating death of a 95-year-old man.
Prosecutors say 27-year-old Isaiah Montrell Thomas left fingerprints at the murder scene, which led police to identify him as the lone suspect in the case. Robbery is thought to be the motive for the murder. During a court appearance Friday bail was set for Thomas at $2 million.
"I think we are outraged," said Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo," and I thnk we are frustrated at having someone live in their home for good long years of 95 years, only to be taken by someone whose main intent appears to be greed to rob this particular house."
Family members discovered the badly beaten body of Albert John Loehlein when they went to drop groceries off at his home on the 1200 block of 5th Avenue in Anoka Monday. The 95-year-old lived alone, and was last seen when his children dropped him off after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 24.
Officers called to the scene found Loehlein on his bedroom floor with severe trauma to his head and face, and significant blood spatter throughout the room. The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office classified his death as homicide, with blunt force trauma from multiple blows to the head.
Investigators recovered fingerprints from the scene which matched those of Isaiah Thomas, which existed in a law enforcement database from previous offenses. They found Thomas lived in an apartment less than 1/5 mile from the victim's home. They also learned that Thomas had pawned a clock that family members identified as being stolen from Loehlein's home.
Thomas was subsequently taken into custody during a traffic stop, and arresting officers found a gold pocket watch on the defendant that belonged to Loehlein.
A witness told investigators he was contacted by Thomas and asked for a ride on Saturday, November 26. When he picked up the defendant less than a block from the victim's home, Thomas placed several items in the trunk.
The next day, Thomas reportedly called and told the witness he had to retrieve several items he had left in the trunk of the vehicle. After the two met up in Fridley, Thomas reportedly told the man "I f***ed up. That old man... you'll see it (on the news). Thomas then told the witness he planned to flee to California.
"Those who prey on the vulnerable among us should not walk free among us," said Palumbo, referring to the defendant Thomas. "There was no mercy shown for the victim in this case, so I see no reason why the state should show mercy either."
If convicted, Isaiah Thomas faces a 40-year sentence on each murder count.