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Salesman says he has no memory of killing woman in Eveleth

Associated Press

VIRGINIA, Minn. — A salesman who was charged with intentional second-degree murder on Wednesday told investigators he had no memory of killing a woman in the Eveleth sign company where she worked.

Jesaiah Lee Carlson, 28, of Two Harbors, was also charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the death of Megan Ashley Anderson, 20, of Cook.

Anderson was stabbed more than 20 times while she worked at Durkee Signs & Graphics in Eveleth around midday Aug. 29. Her employer found her lying face down and bent over a space heater. She was naked from the waist down with her underwear by her knees, authorities said.

A knife was found in Carlson’s car and it contained a DNA mixture that would exclude 97.8 percent of the world’s population, but not Anderson, St. Louis County prosecutors said.

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Prosecutors also said Carlson never denied during his three-hour interview with investigators that he killed Anderson.

But the chief public defender for northeastern Minnesota said Carlson does deny killing her.

"He denies committing the murder," Fred Friedman said. "His exact words were: ’I have no knowledge of this,’ or something close to that."

Judge Gary Pagliaccetti set bail at $1 million, Carlson’s next court appearance was set for Monday.

Despite backlogs at forensic laboratories around the country, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was able to process some of the DNA evidence at its Bemidji crime lab in less than two weeks.

"Because of the nature of this crime it was put to the forefront of the caseload," Special Agent Paul Gherardi said.

Carlson was selling cutting boards and children’s books in the Eveleth area for Allstar Advertising of Duluth when Carlson was killed, Gherardi said.

Friedman said the public defender he assigns to the case will be someone with a background in science and DNA.

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