BEMIDJI -- Darren Stebe, the Bemidji man accused of killing two people and then burning their bodies earlier this year, is set to be arraigned Friday.
The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. in the Beltrami County Courthouse. The 45-year-old is facing two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of 39-year-old Adam Thorpe of Maple Grove, Minn., and 41-year-old Jason McDonough of the Superior, Wis., area.
Although Stebe has been in custody since early February, he was transferred to the Minnesota Department of Corrections in Stillwater. Officials were holding him on a prior probation matter while the new charges were investigated and then filed.
Two other people also have been arraigned in the case. Both Daniel Linde, 54, of Cass Lake, and Kristi Trisco, 31, of Bemidji, have been charged with aiding an offender after the fact.
According to court documents, investigators connected a missing person’s report to the residence where Stebe and Trisco were staying. When they searched the residence, they found the bodies of Thorpe and McDonough in a fire pit on the property in Eckles Township northwest of Bemidji.
Interviews between the investigators and the defendants indicated that Stebe killed Thorpe and McDonough at some point during a drug deal in which Stebe was trying to acquire methamphetamine, according to court documents. Trisco allegedly knew of the death of the two people and helped Stebe spend money he took from the victims. Linde allegedly helped Stebe dig the pit where the two bodies would be burned and then helped Stebe place them in it.
The criminal complaint referenced the coroner’s report by saying both Thorpe and McDonough “were victims of multiple gunshot wounds and/or homicidal violence.” The medical examiner pulled two bullets out of Thorpe. It did not indicate, though, if or how many times McDonough was shot.