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Downwind accomplice sentenced to 10 years

BEMIDJI-- A St. Paul man who admitted to aiding an offender in connection with the murder of Rose Downwind was sentenced to 10 years and three months in prison Monday.

Christopher John Davis, 28, will be eligible for supervised release after serving six years and 10 months of his sentence and would spend the remaining time on parole.

Christopher Davis

Davis admitted in July to helping Downwind's former boyfriend, Marchello Cimmarusti, transport her body to a location west of Bemidji, dig a hole, burn and bury the body, and later text Downwind's mother from her phone to make it appear Downwind was still alive.

Cimmarusti, 40, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty in April to one charge of second-degree intentional murder and admitted that he killed Downwind, a 31-year-old mother of five from Redby.

Eleven of Downwind's friends and family members gave victim impact statements before Davis was sentenced Monday, describing to Judge Shari Schluchter the pain and uncertainty they experienced during the 50 days Downwind was missing, and the impact Downwind's death has had on her five children.

"The hardest thing we had to do...was tell the kids, 'Your mama is an angel in heaven,'" said Kristy White, Downwind's sister.

Rose Downwind

Misty Bray, a friend of Downwind's, described searching for her while trying to comfort one of Downwind's young daughters, who asked Bray to bring Downwind home. She remembered Downwind as a devoted mother who whose face would light up when she arrived at her children's' school to pick them up.

"It broke my heart to look at that sweet little face," Bray said.

Many speakers addressed Davis directly, including Downwind's cousin Dwa Weston.

"This is going to haunt you," Weston told Davis. "You have scarred a family...and that will be with you for the rest of your life."

Before he was sentenced, Davis also addressed the court, saying only that he had no adequate words.

Neither the defense nor the prosecution argued against the sentence, which was 20 months higher than the maximum possible sentence of 103 months in prison, due to aggravating factors Davis admitted to during his guilty plea.

"Someday we as a family will heal," said Georgia Downwind, who also gave a victim impact statement. "Until then our hearts will feel a terrible sorrow."

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796