Steven Johnson was to appear in Ramsey County Court Wednesday after being charged with second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Manya Johnson Sunday.
Police arrested Johnson, 34, after receiving a tip that his wife had been killed and her dismembered body left under a blanket in a garage. Johnson confessed he had shot his wife in the head when she threatened to take their 17-month-old son and leave him the previous day, KARE-TV, St. Paul, reported.
Her body has been dismembered with a saw in the shower and the pieces placed in storage bins inside a friend's garage in White Bear Lake, KARE said.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press said Johnson told a neighbor he had asked a friend to rent him a portable storage unit. The friend, who served prison time with Johnson, reportedly is cooperating with investigators.
Johnson served 12 years in state prison for a 1996 rape and was released in 2008. He married his wife the next year and seemed to be building a new life buying home in St. Paul and fathering a son, the newspaper said.