:::: UPDATE (9:45 a.m.) :::: McMahon is back in Ramsey County Jail this morning. He was arrested around 6:15 p.m. yesterday on suspicion of violating a domestic abuse no contact order. His latest mugshot and information about the circumstances of his arrest are at the bottom of this post.
Former University of Minnesota researcher Matthew Krause was busted in the act of cooking meth last Friday in St. Paul's Minikahda Storage facility after his "friend" tipped off police. The friend said Krause was selling tools he'd stolen from him and toting a shotgun. (Read the full backstory here.)
But the criminal complaint suggests there's more to the story than that black-and-white narrative. It notes the friend "was evasive and vague when responding to questions," and indicates he was actually arrested along with Krause -- "JM [the friend] was advised of his constitutional rights and agreed to speak to police," the complaint says.
In recent days, two sources with knowledge of the situation have told us the "friend" is actually 46-year-old St. Paul resident John Peter McMahon, known to those close to him as Macker.
A Ramsey County official confirms McMahon was indeed arrested in connection with last Friday's incident, but released without being charged. Reached for comment yesterday, St. Paul Police Department Paul Paulos said that thanks to Police Week, officers with knowledge of why McMahon was arrested weren't immediately available to shed more light on the situation. He promised he'd get in touch when he could provide more information, but we haven't heard back yet.
A relative of McMahon's -- they asked their name not be used for reasons that will become clear by the end of this post -- said McMahon "threw Krause under the bus" in part because he was upset Krause was siding with his wife in the wake of a violent domestic dispute on May 1.
According to a criminal complaint, just after 8 a.m. that morning, a man called police and said he could hear a woman yelling she'd been "kidnapped" from inside an apartment on the 2000 block of Marshall Avenue in St. Paul. When he approached the apartment to investigate, he could hear a man yelling he was going to "kill" the woman. He knocked on the door and the woman tried to flee the apartment, but the suspect, later identified as McMahon, grabbed her and prevented her from leaving by slamming the door shut. McMahon had a razor blade and a bottle of Jaegermeister in his hand, the 911 caller said.
Another 911 caller said her mother's husband (aka McMahon) was threatening to slit her mother's throat, adding that her mom had sent her text messages saying, "Help."
(For more, click to page two.)
When police arrived on the scene, they could hear the woman saying, "No. No. No. Don't hurt me!" Officers kicked down the door and entered the apartment. They saw McMahon on top of the woman, holding a razor blade to his neck, the complaint says. McMahon's wife later told authorities she believed McMahon's plan was to kill himself and then let his blood drip on her.
McMahon was arrested and charged with one count of false imprisonment. His next court appearance isn't until June and he's currently free. His mugshot in connection with that arrest is at the top of this post. (The Ramsey County official tells us Krause's mugshot in connection with his most recent arrest isn't publicly available, but says his face is scarred with meth pockmarks in that photo too.)
McMahon's wife decided to leave him in March, but the divorce isn't yet finalized, we're told.
McMahon's relative tells us Krause and McMahon have been friends for about a year. Krause, in fact, worked for McMahon, who owns a company named Mohawk Construction. But in recent months, their relationship has been more about meth than business.
"They just had a toxic relationship and [McMahon] definitely manipulated him a lot," the relative says. "They led each other into this sick addiction. I knew those two were doing drugs together and didn't want anything to do with either of them."
Krause apparently decided he'd had enough of McMahon following the May 1 incident. That weekend, while McMahon was in jail, Krause helped McMahon's wife move her belongings out of the house she shared with him. (It's in the process of being foreclosed, we're told.)
After McMahon was released from custody, it became clear to him that Krause no longer wanted anything to do with him, the relative tells us. That, in turn, motivated McMahon to inform police about Krause's meth-cooking operation, which he likely knew about for some time.
McMahon "wanted to throw Matt under the bus because Matt wasn't giving him information about [his wife]," McMahon's relative says. "He wanted to tell on him for revenge. He went to [his wife's] house with a knife, and after that [Krause] realized how messed up [McMahon] is. Matt said he wanted to cut him off."
"Now my family will probably never get justice for John's violence and threats because he helped the police with a drug bust," the relative says. "That's the justice system for you."
McMahon's relative doesn't believe McMahon's allegations about Krause cooking meth in a University of Minnesota lab or about him toting a shotgun.
(For more, click to page three.)
"It definitely doesn't seem like he would be the type to be making meth on the U of M campus. That seems like bullshit," the relative says. "He also probably didn't have a gun. He doesn't seem like that type -- he's a pretty sensitive, weak guy."
With McMahon free, the relative says she's concerned for the safety of McMahon's wife, even though McMahon's wife and daughters have all taken out restraining orders against him.
"I looked into women's shelters, but they're all full," the relative says. "She doesn't know where to go."
Another person who described herself as a friend of McMahon's wife and a "former friend" of McMahon's says, "We're all scared shitless he's going to do something to his wife."
The woman says she employed Mohawk Construction last summer to change her house's doors. Both Krause and McMahon showed up to do the work. (McMahon's relative says the two were already abusing meth together at the time, adding that McMahon's face has occasionally been scarred with meth pockmarks dating back to last summer, at least.)
Just days after McMahon was released from jail following the May 1 incident, the woman's house was burglarized. She said she suspects McMahon, her old friend from their days of going to punk shows in Minneapolis together, was responsible.
"He was either here trying to see if his wife was here, but anybody he has anger toward... he's all about intimidation, manipulation, and scare tactics," she said. (She also asked her name not be used for obvious reasons.)
McMahon's relative says she can't believe McMahon didn't face more serious charges in connection with the May 1 incident.
"I don't know how he's getting away with all that," the relative says. "The police don't care because he helped them, but compared to Matt it seems like he's the one who should be put away."
:::: UPDATE ::::
Around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, McMahon was arrested on suspicion of violating a domestic abuse no contact order while sitting in a parked green minivan near the intersection of Cleveland and Dayton avenues in St. Paul, according to St. Paul PD spokesman Paul Paulos.
"He had to have been close to the area where the no contact order was enforceable," Paulos says.
Asked who placed the call to police to report McMahon's presence in the area, Paulos says he can't be specific, citing concern for the victim.
"A phone call was made resulting in the arrest of him," he says.
Here's McMahon's latest mugshot: