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Murder suspect pleads not guilty to fatally shooting Maplewood woman

Lucifer Vincent Nguyen

ST. PAUL — Lucifer Nguyen, the man accused of fatally shooting a Maplewood woman July 29 while fleeing police in Mendota Heights, pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court hearing Monday.

Prosecutors have charged Nguyen, 44, of New Hope, with second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count each of first-degree burglary and kidnapping in connection with a violent crime spree that left 48-year Beverly Cory dead.

Nguyen, who was charged July 31, remains in Dakota County jail in lieu of $1 million bail ($1.5 million without conditions).

Nguyen is due back in court Oct. 27 for a contested omnibus hearing. A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 6.

A call to Nguyen's public defender Monday for comment was not returned.

Authorities say Nguyen fatally shot Cory while fleeing police following a home-invasion robbery in Mendota Heights earlier in the morning. Cory was working her job as a financial adviser when Nguyen confronted her and shot her once in the head, prosecutors suspect.

Nguyen then allegedly stole her 2005 Toyota Corolla, ditched it at the Washington County Fairgrounds later in the day and remained on the lam for nearly three days. He was taken into custody July 31 after a traffic stop in Blaine.

Five days before Cory's killing, Nguyen was released from Douglas County, Wis., jail after posting $2,035 bond after being arrested for failing to appear in court on felony drug and battery charges.

Nguyen allegedly was in possession of nearly a pound of methamphetamine, according to the April 6 charges. While in custody, he allegedly assaulted another inmate. He posted $10,000 bail and was released.

In Minnesota, Nguyen has convictions for misdemeanor theft and drunken driving.