The two men charged in a Winona homicide last month made an appearances in court Thursday.
23-year-old Lonnie Hudson and 18-year-old Reginald Burnett are both accused of barging into an apartment in Winona on October 18th, and demanding money from 31-year-old Adam Fort.
Hudson is accused of shooting Fort in the stomach and killing him. He faces five felony counts including second degree murder and firearms charges.
Burnett has been charged with four felony counts including aiding and abetting second degree murder.
The only way either of them could be charged in the 1st Degree is by a Grand Jury indictment, which the prosecution requested Thursday in court.
Prosecuting attorneys also requested a three-month extension on those proceedings, because much of the evidence, including the victim's autopsy, hasn't been completed.
“Just that extensive investigation, and it's ongoing in terms of the forensics with the gun that was allegedly involved, with the autopsy that hadn't been completed yet,” said Winona County Prosecutor Karin Sonneman.
Defense attorneys for Lonnie Hudson argued Thursday that putting the trial on the shelf for three months would violate his rights for a speedy trial.
A Grand Jury would be looking for probable cause to charge Hudson or Burnett differently than the criminal complaint. Even if a Grand Jury did not indict the two, they could still face the charges put forth in the complaint.
“The grand jury addresses probable cause, and the probable cause standard is not as high as what you would require for a trial, which is proof beyond reasonable doubt,” said Sonneman.
“Probable cause is more likely than not, so whether those items are absolutely necessary, again, that's up to the Grand Jury. They can ask to see whatever evidence,” said Sonneman.
Judge Jefferey Thompson will issue a decision Friday whether to grant the grand jury proceedings or the extension.
The two men arrested in connection with the murder of a Winona man appeared in court Thursday
Reginald Burnett, 18, and Lonnie Hudson, 23, both facing charges, including 2nd degree murder and aggravated robbery.
Hudson appeared in Winona County District Court at 8:30 a.m on Thursday. The State requested a Grand Jury review, which is the only way Hudson could face a first degree murder charge. Court records show that he remains jailed on a $5 million bond. Future court appearances are pending.
During Burnett's initial appearance Thursday afternoon the court appointed a public defender for him. Due to that, the court pushed his initial appearance to November 16.
Both are being held at the Winona County Jail. Burnett is jailed on a $3 million bond.
Authorities say the two men entered the home of Adam Fort, 31, and demanded money on October 18. Fort was shot in the stomach and killed. Officials say the suspects then fled the scene with cash.