Murder believed to be over elderly neighbor
A Rochester man shot and killed in September is believed to have been murdered by an elderly neighbor’s family members over concerns of care that led to her being hospitalized.
Brandon Arndt, 38, was found shot in the head Sept. 10 at the rear door of the manufactured home where he lived at Bob’s Trailer Court, 1915 Marion Road SE, lot 14.
Late last week, police arrested three people on second-degree murder charges — Malcolm Jammal Woods, 27 and Kielah Shanae Parsons, 34, both of Rochester and Darien Kristopher Klindworth-Woods, 19, of North Mankato. Woods and Klindworth-Woods are believed to be half-brothers and Parsons is their cousin, according to police. All three are the grandchildren of Arndt’s elderly neighbor.
Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin said Arndt had been helping his elderly neighbor since she moved into the trailer court a month before.
On Sept. 8, Arndt reportedly went over to check on the woman after hearing her call for help, according to court documents. Arndt gave the woman water and her prescription pack but the woman refused to have an ambulance called for her, according to court documents.
On Sept. 9, one of the woman’s family members called police to the trailer to have the woman taken to the hospital. Sherwin said the condition the woman was found in was “disturbing.” Around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. that day, six men showed up at Arndt’s trailer and confronted him over the belief that he provided illegal drugs to the woman, causing her to overdose, according to court documents. Multiple family members reported the same to police.
Police have since spoken to the woman and Sherwin said there was no evidence of wrongdoing on Arndt’s part.
Sherwin said the police investigation began to focus on the woman’s extended family. Police used surveillance footage from throughout Rochester, an area convenience store and Mayo Clinic Hopsital–Saint Marys Campus, to track the behaviors of Woods, Parsons and Klindworth-Woods during the hours leading up to the murder.
Police spoke with Klindworth-Woods on Sept. 26 in North Mankato. He told investigators that on Sept. 9 he had driven to Parsons’ Rochester residence after hearing his grandmother was in the hospital. Klindworth-Woods said the two talked for a while before going to the hospital to visit his grandmother, according to court documents.
Klindworth-Woods reported that he left the hospital with Woods and Parsons and drove to Kwik Trip at Third Avenue and 12th Street Southeast before dropping Parsons off at home and then returning to North Mankato, according to court documents.
Surveillance footage shows all three leaving the hopsital around 3:10 a.m. Sept. 10, according to court documents. Footage from the Kwik Trip shows Parsons inside the store buying snacks and grabbing multiple plastic bags “more than were needed for the items she purchased,” according to court documents.
On Sept. 27, investigators with the Rochester Police Department conducted a search warrant at Klindworth-Woods’ North Mankato apartment and arrested him on unrelated charges.
Investigators spoke with him again and Klindworth-Woods allegedly told police that after stopping at Kwik Trip in the early morning hours of Sept. 10, the three went to Bob’s Trailer Park.
“Klindworth-Woods parked a short distance away from the trailer park. Malcolm Woods put plastic bags on his feet and hands and exited the vehicle. A short time later, Klindworth-Woods heard a gunshot. Malcolm Woods ran up to the car and got in the car,” the criminal complaint read.
A .40-caliber handgun believed to have been used in the incident by Woods was reportedly sold a few days later.
Parsons was arrested between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sept. 27 following a traffic stop in downtown Rochester. Woods was located the following afternoon in the 2300 block of Valleyhigh Drive Northwest, according to Sherwin. At the time of his arrest, police found a 9 mm handgun on Woods, Sherwin said.
Arndt’s mother, Norma Hanson, was in a bedroom at the home at the time of the incident. She reported hearing someone knock and then a loud bang. She found Arndt on the floor near the door and called 911.
Last week, Hanson described her only son as a man who “always had a smile for everyone despite the hardships he suffered in life” and that he was always willing to help others in need.