Was Richie Vessel playing loud music on the night of Thursday, February 9? Or were the two women across the hall?
That part remains unclear. What's known is that Vessel is alive, and the women across the hall were shot and killed. Vessel's facing double murder charges for the deaths of Eileen Mark, 67, and her 42-year-old daughter Jennifer Angerhofer. Charges against Vessel, 46, came down Thursday, and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says it's unclear just who was playing music that night.
Regardless of who was making noise, Vessel had built up something of a reputation in Holmes Park Village Apartments, a complex located on the 300 block of 2nd Ave. Southeast, roughly two blocks from Mac's Industrial and Aveda Institute. Charges state Vessel had flashed a handgun at another apartment dweller, and "threatened to kill another resident" on a previous occasion.
Whether those incidents were reported to a landlord or law enforcement isn't spelled out. Vessel is accused of carrying out his threat on this occasion, as a witness heard loud music, arguing, and then the gunshots that killed Mark and Angerhofer.
A search warrant was issued, and police found what appeared to be blood spattered on a light switch and Vessel's clothes; a subsequent search of a nearby dumpster turned up a handgun matching the type used in the double murder. The same garbage bag contained a pill bottle with Vessel's name on it.
Questioned by cops, Vessel at first said he hadn't even heard of a shooting in the building.
Vessel has a minimal criminal history in Minnesota, with most of his offenses involving driving -- two drunk driving incidents, plus a number of instances of driving without a license or insurance -- but was convicted of a "public nuisance" crime in 2008, while living in Virginia, Minnesota. The Star Tribune reports he was civilly committed around that time.
The Strib also says Mark was described by one neighbor as a "wonderful lady" who volunteered her time at a nearby homeless shelter, "sometimes making hundreds of sandwiches for people," and "collected clothing to give to the needy."
The crime of second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a minimum of three years.