Cloquet Shooting Suspect Pleads Guilty to Assault Charge

Posted at: 06/28/2013 11:26 AM
Updated at: 06/28/2013 6:10 PM

The woman accused of shooting and wounding her estranged husband in Cloquet has pleaded guilty to first-degree assault as part of a plea agreement.

Marie Majerle had also been charged with removing, obliterating, or changing the serial number on a firearm, but prosecutors agreed to dismiss that charge as part of a plea deal Friday.  Majerle's sentence was delayed until the trial of another suspect in the case, John Bemis, but she will be sent to a state prison in Shakopee on an interim basis.

"Due to the nature of the way we worked it out, she entered her plea today, but we are not actually going to have her sentenced until the co-defendent's case," said Thom Pertler, Carlton County Attorney.

Majerle was initially charged after police said she shot and wounded her estranged husband, Richard Majerle, in a sauna at Richard Majerle's home.  After the incident, investigators said the 38-year-old Bemis left town.  He was found a couple weeks ago in Nevada and that's when investigators interviewed Marie Majerle again.

According to a criminal complaint, Marie Majerle and Bemis were living together when the shooting happened. She said Bemis wanted to shoot Richard Majerle.

Marie Majerle said Bemis had a job opportunity in Arizona and Richard Majerle was the only thing preventing them from starting a life there.

Court documents said Bemis provided Marie Majerle with a gun and ammunition. Investigators said surveillance video from the Walmart in Hermantown showed Bemis purchasing the ammunition.

Marie Majerle also told investigators she was convinced Bemis would have successfully murdered Richard Majerle if she did not go along with the plan. Instead, Marie Majerle said she decided to shoot Richard Majerle in a non-lethal manner.

Bemis is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and aiding and abetting assault.