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Cloquet murder conspiracy trial rescheduled to October

A Cloquet man charged with conspiracy to commit murder appeared in Carlton County Court this week for a pretrial hearing.

John Edwin Bemis III, 39, appeared with his attorney, Joseph Patrick Tamburino, on Monday for a short hearing that resulted in Bemis’ trial date being rescheduled from September to October because of a conflict in the court’s calendar.

Bemis faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree and aiding and abetting first-degree assault in a case involving Bemis’ ex-wife, Marie Margaret Majerle.

Majerle previously admitted to shooting her estranged husband, Richard Majerle, in the upper chest at his home in the Erickson Acres neighborhood of Cloquet on Jan. 6, 2013, but said she only did it to wound him because she was certain Bemis — with whom she had reunited — would kill him.

In a plea agreement in June 2013, Majerle, then 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in the shooting of Richard Majerle.

Marie Majerle also agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in its case against Bemis.

According to the criminal complaint, Marie Majerle told detectives that Bemis suggested the day before the shooting that they make arrangements to shoot Richard Majerle. Bemis tried to convince her that her husband was the source of her troubles and the obstacle to her desire to leave the state and get back together with Bemis.

Bemis is out on bail, which was set at $250,000. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Majerle is expected to be sentenced to 117 months in prison, but not until after Bemis’ case is resolved. She already is serving time at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee.