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St. Paul man charged with murder in wife's beating death

According to a criminal complaint, Arvid Johnson admitted to police that he killed his wife inside their St. Paul home on Saturday.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A man living in St. Paul's Como Park neighborhood has been charged with second-degree murder after admitting to beating his wife, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County.

The morning of Sunday, Jan. 23, St. Paul Police arrived at a home on the 1400 block of Dale Street North, where they found 65-year-old Arvid Harry Johnson sitting at his kitchen table.

According to the criminal complaint, officers found Johnson's wife, who was "obviously deceased, with trauma to her face and head," on the floor in a bedroom.

In an interview with police, Johnson admitted to hitting his wife repeatedly in the head and face with his hands, banging her head on the bed and floor, and said he believed he hit her once with a bat, the complaint said.

Credit: Ramsey County, KARE 11
Mugshot for Arvid Johnson

Johnson told police about his frustrations with his wife, claiming she didn't take care of herself and that he did everything for her, and once he started hitting her on Saturday, "something went off" and he couldn't stop, according to court documents.

On Monday, a Ramsey County judge ordered Johnson's bail be set at $1 million.

The complaint said the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's early findings show that Johnson's wife died by homicide cause by blunt force trauma.

The woman's death marks St. Paul's fifth homicide of 2022.

MORE: 67-year-old woman beaten to death in St. Paul

On Sunday afternoon, KARE11 spoke with neighbors who live next door to the couple's home. They say they were shocked, and the couple seemed to be normal, quiet and nice.

Bob Marley Jr., a neighbor who lives across the street and a few houses down, wasn't at his home when police arrived. He learned of the incident Sunday afternoon.

"The neighborhood is not that bad," Marley Jr. said. "I don’t know what kind of motivation they would have to [do] something like that."

RELATED: Woman murdered in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

Further confusing neighbors is the fact that there have been no calls of service to the home all of last year — something St. Paul police confirmed.

"It’s sad that something like that would happen," said Marley Jr.

RELATED: 2 in critical condition after shooting at post-funeral luncheon in north Minneapolis

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