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Michael Swanson pleads not guilty in Iowa murders

After he was booked, <a href="http://www.twincities.com/ci_16627928" target="_blank">Swanson smiled for reporters</a>.

After he was booked, Swanson smiled for reporters.

Police say 17-year-old Michael Richard Swanson took his parents' jeep in St. Louis Park on Nov. 15, stole a gun from their cabin, drove to two gas stations in rural Iowa, and gunned down two employees for cash and cigarettes.

He provoked outrage when he smiled and laughed at reporters during his perp walk. And now he says he's not guilty.

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His lawyer entered the pleas yesterday on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Humboldt County Court. He'll be doing the same soon in Kossuth County.

Vicky Bowman-Hall, 47, was killed in Algona. Sheila Myers, 61, was shot in Humboldt. Both were buried the same day, Nov. 22.

Swanson is one troubled kid. Police have been called to his house over and over for a laundry list of complaints including assault, theft, vehicle theft, threats, weapons violations and shots fired. He's crashed a stolen car and given a fake a ID to a cop. And he'd been out of the Hennepin County Home School a little more than a week, on home supervision, inNovember, when his parents reported that he'd fled.