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2 charged with murder in death of Inver Grove Heights man

A Minneapolis couple each face two murder charges after 43-year-old Michael Lee was found shot and killed in his home on Saturday, Sept. 24.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — A man and woman have each been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a man inside his Inver Grove Heights home.

According to court documents, 25-year-old Logan Slack and 25-year-old Fotini West are each charged with second-degree murder (with intent – not premeditated) and second-degree murder (without intent – while committing a felony) in the death of 43-year-old Michael Chang Beom Lee on Sept. 24.

Both West and Slack made their initial court appearances Tuesday morning before Judge Thomas Pugh. Bail for Slack was set at $1 million without conditions, $700,000 with conditions; bail for West was also set at $1 million without conditions, $300,000 with conditions. Both have their next court appearances set for Oct. 5.

The fatal shooting happened around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. Inver Grove Heights police say squads responded to a home on the 2100 block of 78th Court East after receiving a 911 call where the caller hung up. When officers arrived, they found Lee dead on the floor in a downstairs bathroom, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dakota County.

According to court documents, officers at the house spoke to witnesses who said they saw a dark-colored SUV drive away from the scene seconds before officers arrived. A different officer stopped a black Toyota at a nearby intersection that had three passengers; the driver was identified as Logan Slack, and a female passenger as Fotini West.

Credit: Dakota County Sheriff's Office

West reportedly had blood on her arms, hands and chest, and told police that she went to a man's house and was assaulted when she tried to leave, prosecutors said.

When officers performing the traffic stop learned that a deceased male victim had been located inside a nearby home, they were asked to take a photo of Slack's shoe soles to see if they matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene. Upon transporting Slack to the Dakota County Jail, officers noticed a lump in his sweatshirt pocket, which was determined to be the soles of the shoes he was wearing, the documents said.

During an interview at the jail, Slack reportedly told investigators that he had dropped West off at Lee's home to allegedly perform an erotic massage in exchange for money, the criminal complaint explained. According to prosecutors, West told Slack that she was assaulted and payment for the services was canceled. At that point, Slack allegedly got a gun from his SUV and forced his way into the residence by breaking through a back door, according to the criminal complaint, and chased Lee into the basement where the victim locked himself inside the bathroom.

Court documents say Slack broke a hole in the door and shot Lee in the back to stop him from calling 911 and to obtain his cell phone to "ensure electronic payment for the massage."

After the shooting, West went into the bathroom and took Lee's phone, and both fled from the house, prosecutors said.

Police searched the SUV West and Slack were riding in and located a revolver and cell phone with blood on it under the front passenger seat.

According to the Dakota County Attorney's Office, a third individual was arrested but was released by the Inver Grove Heights Police Department and is not being charged in relation Lee's killing. 

“I wish to commend the Inver Grove Heights Police Department for their quick apprehension of those involved in this senseless murder. My deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Mr. Lee for their great loss," Attorney Kathryn Keena said in a statement.

According to a GoFundMe page started by Lee's brother-in-law, Lee was a husband and father of a 2-year-old son.

Slack and West both have a criminal history that includes drug charges. Slack has a pending gun charge in Hennepin County after he was arrested earlier this month while driving a gunshot victim to Hennepin County Medical Center. He did not have a valid permit to carry a firearm, the charges said.

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