WILLMAR, Minn. — Algene Vossen, the Sioux Falls, S.D., man facing murder charges for the 1974 stabbing death of Mabel "Mae" Agnes Boyer Herman in Willmar, Minn., has been released from jail and is currently in Iowa awaiting medical treatment, according to court documents.
Vossen, 73, was released into the care of his niece Janette Sanders, Oct. 27, to seek medical treatment for various mental and physical disabilities, including dementia.
A native of Willmar, Vossen had previously been hospitalized in the Centra Care Hospital in St. Cloud from Oct. 17 to 27 for medical treatment.
Vossen was arrested in Minnehaha County, S.D., on July 23, after a cold case investigation by the Willmar Police Department connected Vossen to the homicide with DNA evidence. He had been questioned about the death in 1974, but it wasn't until 2020 that he was arrested.
The State of Minnesota, represented by Kristen Pierce, first assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney, requested medical furlough for Vossen as the Kandiyohi County Jail, along with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, was not able to care for Vossen’s current medical condition.
According to an Oct. 29 correspondence with the court from Vossen’s attorney, Kent Marshall of Barrett, Minn., Vossen met with his personal physician in Sioux Falls who believed Vossen would be able to rely on home care if there was a hematologist involved, among other specialists.
Sanders, Vossen’s niece, was unable to find a placement for him in Sioux Falls.
“The problem of course is two-fold; he is technically in the custody of Kandiyohi County facing murder charges and everyone is concerned about COVID-19 and not allowing new admissions,” Marshall wrote to the court.
Vossen traveled with Sanders to her home in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 29, where he is under house arrest and supervision by Sanders.
Pierce requested Vossen wear GPS monitoring to determine his location in the interest of public safety and due to the nature of his criminal charges.
“Mr. Marshall has kept the court and our office informed of Mr. Vossen’s general location,” Pierce wrote to the court on Oct. 29. “However, Mr. Vossen has been to three states in three days. The level of supervision or his access to the community is unknown.”
Vossen was required to surrender his passport and sign a waiver of extradition if his treatment required him to travel outside of Minnesota or South Dakota. So far, the court has not ordered him to wear GPS monitoring.
On Nov. 2, Vossen’s attorney submitted a motion that the court should order a mental and physical examination of Vossen because Marshall believes that Vossen suffers from dementia “that prohibits him from entering into meaningful discussions with his attorney for purposes of preparing for trial” as well as “various extreme physical disabilities and illnesses that make it virtually impossible for him to assist me, as his defense counsel.”
A motion for continuance by Marshall was granted, canceling the Nov. 24 pre-trial court date and scheduling a hearing for Jan. 5.