Minn. man pleads guilty in totem pole killing - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. man pleads guilty in totem pole killing

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INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) -- A northern Minnesota man accused of killing his wife with a totem pole has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Fifty-one-year-old Carl Chester Muggli entered his plea Wednesday. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the November 2010 death of his wife at their home in Ray.

The Mugglis were well-known totem pole carvers, with clients including Six Flags Theme Parks and Warner Bros. Television.

Prosecutors say 61-year-old Linda Muggli died after a 700-pound totem pole fell onto her. Carl Muggli told investigators it was an accident, but authorities said they could not reconstruct the incident the way he said it happened. The complaint alleged they were fighting about a divorce, and that he was having a romantic relationship with a woman from Alabama.

Sentencing is set for Feb. 4.

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