Olmsted Sheriff announcement

{span}Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, along with Capt. Scott Behrns, announced Friday morning that an arrest was made earlier this week in connection to the March 5 murder of Garad Hassan Roble, 28.{/span}

A Rochester homicide case that has gone unsolved since its discovery in early spring may be nearing resolution.

A Rochester man was ordered held on $1 million unconditional bond Friday morning following his arrest earlier this week for his alleged involvement in the March 5 murder of 28-year-old Garad Hassan Roble.

Ayub Abucar Hagi Iman, 23, was arrested without incident Wednesday at the city-county Government Center. Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson declined to elaborate Friday on why exactly Iman was at the government center that day, saying only, “He was there for an additional meeting.”

Iman was arraigned Friday in Olmsted County District Court on a charge of aiding/abetting second-degree murder-with intent-not premeditated. Judge Lisa Hayne oversaw the arraignment and set bail.

“We’ve charged him such that he either was the person that actually committed the homicide or he absolutely played a significant role,” Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said Friday afternoon. Torgerson said his office believes there was at least one other person involved in the homicide.

Attorney Richard Kimlinger, who represented Iman for the hearing, had asked the judge to set conditional bail or bond “much, much lower” than the prosecution’s $500,000 conditional request. Hayne ultimately rejected any terms for conditional release and set unconditional bond, saying that the court was “very concerned with public safety.”

“Quite frankly, I don’t see you following any conditions,” Hayne said.

Iman was on pretrial release at the time of the offense. Following his arrest, Iman has been held at the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center due to “conflicting relationships” that he has with current Olmsted County detainees, Torgerson said. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 26.

More witnesses?

Around two dozen people connected to Roble attended the brief hearing, filling more than four benches in the courtroom. Torgerson said before the hearing that his office has been in constant contact with Roble’s family and “kept them abreast of everything that has been transpiring throughout this investigation.”

“We also have strong reason to believe that certain persons that have relationships with Iman may have knowledge of the homicide,” Torgerson said. “We strongly urge those people to do the right thing and come forward with any information they have.”

Authorities said that there was a relationship between Roble and Iman, but did not specify the exact nature of that relationship — whether they were friends, associates or acquaintances.

Roble was found by a passing motorist in the pre-dawn hours March 5 on 45th Street Southeast, between St. Bridgets Road Southeast (County Road 20) and Simpson Road (County Road 1). Roble had with multiple gunshot wounds, and was determined to have died from those wounds, which included at least one head wound and another to the abdomen, according to court documents.

Investigators with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension located more than a dozen .40-caliber shell casings at the scene, according to court documents.

Chronology of case

Using surveillance footage from multiple locations, cell data and a number of witness interviews, investigators were able to piece together a brief timeline of where Roble was in the hours before he was found dead.

Roble joined four people — two men and two women — at 10:13 p.m. March 4 at The Loop and stayed there until 11:38 p.m., when the group left the restaurant and went into a nearby parking ramp. Roble and the men drove to Meadow Park Apartments, in the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue Southeast, and stayed there from around 11:50 p.m. to 12:34 a.m. March 5.

The three then went to the apartment of one of the women and stayed there until about 2 a.m., when one of the men, identified in court records only as “Male Witness 3,” and one of the women, identified in court records as “Female Witness 2,” went to leave.

Before leaving, “Male Witness 3” expressed concern about a car parked in the road near the house, court documents state. “Female Witness 2” went and checked the car and found that the driver and sole occupant was Iman. He was engaged in a video call on his cell phone, court records state.

She also reported hearing Roble and a man identified as “Male Witness 4” engaged in a conversation. At one point, the witness told police, Roble said, “What are you all going to do, shoot me? Are you going to murder me?,” court documents read.

Roble and “Male Witness 4” got into Iman’s car and drove away.

Gathering evidence

Cell tower data for Iman’s two phones placed him in the 2300 block of 45th Street Southeast at the same time as Roble, according to court records.

On March 6, police executing a search warrant in a completely separate investigation at the residence of two known associates of Iman found a nylon holster and a Glock brand 15-round magazine in the garbage, according to court documents.

On March 8, Rochester police recovered a Glock handgun that was found on top of the frozen water under a bridge in the 200 block of Elton Hills Drive.

“The magazine in the gun had a distinctive marking of the numbers ‘746’ written with silver ink. Forensic examination of the gun and shell casing found at the scene confirm the gun is the same gun used to shoot the victim,” according to court records.

Ostrem said there was not a current registration for the gun nor had it been reported stolen.

“We do know where the gun was last registered, but there is a big blank period of time where there doesn’t seem to be a transfer of registration of that firearm but all of the sudden it showed up here in Rochester,” he said.

When asked if the case would be presented to a grand jury, Ostrem noted that the grand jury proceedings are confidential.

“And secondly, this is still a very active investigation,” he said. “There is a still a lot more information we are continuing to gather and I think it would be very premature to consider something like first-degree or grand jury indictments at this point.”