After ruling last month that prejudicial pretrial publicity dictated the case be moved so a fair and impartial trial could be conducted, District Judge Charles LeDuc ruled Monday the trial be held at the Beltrami County Courthouse in Bemidji, 114 miles from Koochiching County Courthouse in International Falls, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
Carl Muggli, 50, of Ray is accused of using a 17-foot log totem pole to kill his wife, Linda, nearly two years ago. He is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and intentional second-degree murder in the death of his 61-year-old wife, who died of severe head trauma when the log the couple had been carving for a totem pole landed on her.
Carl and Linda Muggli were internationally recognized for their totem pole work.
The Koochiching County Sheriff's Office began investigating Linda Muggli's death the day she died and arrested the husband six months later in Texas where the couple had lived during winter months.
Charges were brought against Muggli after investigators learned of an Alabama woman who allegedly had intimate and romantic conversations with him.
Court document indicate Carl Muggli told a Koochiching County sheriff's deputy that the totem pole he and his wive were carving wasn't level in a cradle, so he placed several two-by-fours pieces of wood under the pole to keep it level, the News Tribune said. He said they were turning the pole with a hook when it fell on his wife.
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