Court Upholds Homicide Charge in Superior Shooting

Posted at: 06/19/2013 11:43 AM
Updated at: 06/19/2013 5:54 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

A judge found probable cause Wednesday to charge an Arizona man with first degree intentional homicide in a shooting last month at a Superior business that left one man dead.

Juan Leonardo Padilla, 40, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., appeared in Douglas County Circuit Court Wednesday. The judge ruled there is sufficient evidence to uphold the homicide charge.

Padilla is charged in connection with the fatal shooting at Genesis Attachments in Superior May 23rd. The victim in the case, 46-year-old Terrance Rodney Luukkonen of Duluth, worked at the Superior business.

The prosecution called two witnesses to testify Wednesday, a lead investigator and Luukkonen's fiance, Christin Weir.

While she wiped tears away from her eyes, Weir said the man who allegedly killed her fiance showed up at her nutrition class in early April. She had met Padilla in Arizona two years ago, and said she told Padilla multiple times, their relationship was over and she was staying with Luukkonen.

District Attorney Daniel Blank said Weir did her duty as Luukonen's former fiance.

"Her testimony went well. It really set the stage for the key evidence," said Blank.

According to investigators, Luukkonen was shot in his car from the outside while in the parking lot of Genesis Attachments, which is where he worked. Investigators said evidence lead police to the Allyndale Motel in Duluth where they located Padilla.

Padilla's public defender, J. Patrick O'Neill, Jr. reserved his right Wednesday to challenge the ruling after looking over the transcript.

Padilla's next court appearance is scheduled for July 15.