Bank video links murder suspect with check from slain Willmar, Minn., grandmother
WILLMAR — Surveillance video from a Willmar bank the day that Lila Warwick was killed shows murder suspect Brok Junkermeier depositing a $1,500 check that Warwick had written to him before her death.
During testimony this morning in Junkermeier’s murder trial at the Kandiyohi County Courthouse, the Bremer Bank teller on duty July 29 identified Junkermeier as the individual who tried to cash the check that afternoon.
Traci O’Connell said she chatted with Junkermeier for about 15 minutes, explained to him that the check could not be cashed because it did not come from a Bremer bank account but that the money would be deposited in his Bremer account and he could access the money the next business day.
Junkermeier, 19, of Willmar, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Lila Warwick. The 79-year-old Willmar woman was the grandmother of one of his friends, Robert Warwick. Robert, 18, is also charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
O’Connell testified that she could tell the check had been written by an elderly woman and that the handwriting was “kind of shaky.”
She noticed at the time that the check memo said “college expenses” and she asked Junkermeier where he was going to school and said the two were “idly chitchatting” while O’Connell filled out a deposit slip.
When asked by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank if Junkermeier seemed nervous, O’Connell said she makes a point of looking customers in the eye while talking to them and that any sign of nervousness would send up a “red flag.”
O’Connell said there were no red flags during her interaction with Junkermeier.
Bank records indicate Junkermeier withdrew $400 from his account on July 31 in two separate transactions at an ATM.
Later that evening, two detectives went to the West Central Tribune in Willmar, where Junkermeier was employed in the mail room. They told Junkermeier they wanted to talk to him about the check.
In an audio recording played for jurors, Junkermeier chats and laughs with the officers about sports and about his job as the three drive to the county law enforcement center.
The audio ends when the officers inform Junkermeier they need to read him his Miranda warning.
This afternoon, it is expected jurors will see the video interview the officers had with Junkermeier.