St. Paul National Guardsman's murder arranged by wife, charges say
Heather Horst and Aaron Allen
Aaron Allen, 25, and Heather Horst, 24, both face charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a felony in connection with the death of Horst's husband, 25-year-old National Guardsman Brandon Horst.
Brandon Horst was found dead in his home the morning of August 5 with a single gunshot wound to the head. His wife initially told police she wasn't home at the time of the shooting and had no idea what happened, but according to the criminal complaint, suspicions were raised when Heather's gun was missing from the cabinet in which it was usually stored and some of her initial statements were inconsistent.
Days later, Allen's fiancee and Heather Horst's sister-in-law, identified in the criminal complaint as A.P., came forward and told police she had overheard Heather tell Allen on August 4 that Brandon was abusing her and she wanted him dead.
Heather Horst "explained that she and Brandon Horst had been arguing a lot over the past few days and she could no longer take it" during that August 4 conversation, the criminal complaint says.
A KARE 11 report tells the story from there:
Heather Horst's sister-in-law initially corroborated her story, but when questioned by police a second time told investigators that Horst had come to the apartment shared by she and Aaron Allen on August 4 and told them "I want him dead," speaking of Brandon Horst. She allegedly told Allen she wanted it to look like someone had broken into their home.
The sister-in-law, referred to in court documents simply as 'AP', told investigators that Heather Horst came to the apartment and picked up Aaron Allen about 10:30 that night. Heather Horst returned to pick up AP to go shopping around midnight, and when they were through the two picked up Allen about a block from the Horst home. He was carrying a black backpack, and Horst stopped at Kaposia Park in South St. Paul so he could get rid of it.
Police had discovered a black backpack days earlier with a 9mm handgun and ammunition inside.
Investigators subsequently learned that Brandon Horst held a $400,000 life insurance police through the National Guard, and an additional $80,000 policy with the federal government. His wife Heather was the sole beneficiary of both policies.
A roommate who shares a residence with A.P. and Allen told police they heard Heather Horst tell Allen she'd share some of the life insurance proceeds "for being supportive and being family" if Allen helped take out her husband.
A.P. told police she initially lied about what happened because she was afraid of losing her fiancee.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Nicole Curtis hates 'affordable housing' that replaced south Minneapolis homes
- Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau will keep her job, but not without critics
- Minnetonka Schools remain oddly silent after teen assaults Chris Carr's daughter
- Luke McAvoy, ex-Minnesota football player, comes out in powerful essay