Coon Rapids Man Accused Of Murder Asks Judges To Drop Charges
A Coon Rapids man accused of murdering a 5-year-old girl in August, has asked a Cass County judge to dismiss the charge on Wednesday. According to Forum News Service, the motion comes after the public defender for Zachary Todd Anderson, 26, filed a motion on March 24th, asking the judge to dismiss murder charges, suppress evidence gathered during the investigation or move his trial to another county.
Anderson stands accused of the murder of 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl, a girl who had gone missing after Zachary Anderson spent the night at the family home in Watkins, Minnesota, 25 miles southwest of St. Cloud. Mr. Ertl’s white GMC Sierra truck was also missing with his cell phone inside.
Deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s office located the stolen vehicle on property owned by Anderson’s family in rural Cass County. No one was inside the vehicle or a cabin on the property. Additional law enforcement responded to the property and Anderson was located by K-9 officers in a wooded area about a quarter mile from the cabin at 4926 Iroquois Trail Loop SW. Anderson did not attempt to flee, he did not have a weapon and did not resist arrest.
A preliminary autopsy ruled the cause of death to be homicidal violence due to strangulation and blunt force trauma. The medical examiner also found evidence of a sexual assault perpetrated upon the victim.
Anderson was indicted by a District Court grand jury and arraign on 19 criminal charges for first-degree murder, intentional murder, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, theft and interference with a dead body.
Anderson’s attorney asked the judge to dismiss the indictment due to insufficient probable cause and that his rights were violated during his arrest.
The judge is expected to rule on this issue some time after May 10th.