ST. PAUL - A man under investigation for his role in his girlfriend's death inside her St. Paul home earlier this summer has been charged with her murder.
Ivan Walker, 33, faces one count of intentional second-degree murder in the death of Shana Hollins, according to an amended criminal complaint filed against him Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Ramsey County District Court.
The charge comes more than a month after police were called to an East Side townhome around 7 a.m. on July 23 after a young man reported that his mother's boyfriend may have killed her.
They found Hollins dead in an upstairs bedroom with a straw in her nose.
Also at the scene, officers encountered a 16-year-old girl crying and shaking.
She told officers Walker had "raped her several times and confessed to killing" Hollins before leaving the residence, according to the criminal complaint. The teen is a relative of Hollins'.
Days later, authorities charged Walker with kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
No charges were filed regarding Hollins' homicide at the time as police waited for the Ramsey County medical examiner's office to determine her exact cause of death.
That information came Aug. 28, when investigators learned that the medical examiner determined her homicide to be caused by probable asphyxia due to assault, according to the amended charges.
Hemorrhages were noted in both her eyes as well as acute hemorrhages in the muscles and soft tissue of her neck, authorities say.
Cocaine, THC, methamphetamine and ethanol also were found in her system and noted as contributing factors, according to the complaint.
Teen's life reportedly threatened
Meanwhile, the girl recounted to police what she said Walker did to her, describing how he grabbed her by the neck and started choking her as she was sitting on a couch in the residence's lower level, court documents say.
He dragged her through the townhome, repeatedly punching her before eventually forcing her into the basement while threatening to "kill her, too" if she didn't keep quiet, according to the criminal complaint.
He raped her twice before she was able to convince him to let her use the upstairs bathroom, the complaint said. That's when she said she saw Hollins lying in a bed, her feet purple.
She watched as Walker snorted cocaine from a straw and then placed the straw next to Hollins, the girl told officers, court documents say.
He allegedly told the teen he planned to make Hollins' death look like a drug overdose before he raped the girl a third time in the kitchen.
Walker wanted in Missouri, has history of violence
The teen told officers she eventually persuaded Walker to leave the residence, promising she wouldn't tell police.
Then she grabbed a knife, gave it to Hollins' 20-year-old son and told him to call the police and lock his door, the complaint said.
Walker was located and arrested in downtown St. Paul later that day, telling officers at the time that he hadn't been at Hollins' townhouse that morning or the previous evening, but provided an alibi that couldn't be substantiated, court documents say.
Hollins' 20-year-old son told officers he arrived home about 11 p.m. July 22 and heard Walker and his mother arguing in a bedroom.
Neighbors also reported seeing Walker at the residence that night.
Walker has a history of violent crimes in Illinois, according to court records, and has a warrant for his arrest out of Missouri for a parole violation related to a robbery conviction, authorities say.
Hollins was a mother of three. Her older sister remembered her following her death as a feisty, determined woman who always showed up for the people she loved.
Court appearance scheduled
Walker pleaded not guilty in late August to the rape and kidnapping charges facing him in the case.
His attorney, public defender Kristen Williams, could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the murder charges filed against him this week.
He is expected to make his next court appearance Sept. 19.