Charges: Duluth teen played video games, smoked with victim of Lincoln Park stabbing

A Duluth teenager was charged Thursday morning with second-degree murder in the death of a 27-year-old Lincoln Park man whose body had at least 57 injuries to the head, face, neck and back as a result of blunt-force and sharp-force trauma consist...

Enrique Robert Giner IV
Enrique Robert Giner IV

A Duluth teenager was charged Thursday morning with second-degree murder in the death of a 27-year-old Lincoln Park man whose body had at least 57 injuries to the head, face, neck and back as a result of blunt-force and sharp-force trauma consistent with the use of a hammer and a knife-like instrument.

Enrique Robert Giner IV, 17, is charged by juvenile delinquency petition with intentionally causing the death of Bryan Alan Starnes at his residence at 702 N. 24th Ave. W. His body was found about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Starnes was an Army veteran who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said his office simultaneously filed a motion to certify that Giner be tried as an adult. He said Duluth police continue to investigate Starnes' death.

"Our hearts go out to his family and we offer our deepest condolences," Rubin said.

Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Angie Shambour asked the court that Giner be kept in custody because of the violence of the attack and his prior record. Public defender Brent Olson is representing the teenager and asked the court that a mental health evaluation be ordered.


Judge Sally Tarnowski ordered that Giner continue to be held at the Arrowhead Juvenile Center. She said the level of violence alleged would put the public at risk if he were released. The court also ordered that the juvenile undergo a psychological study, a chemical dependency assessment, a family assessment and an adult certification study.

Giner pleaded guilty in juvenile court last year to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also accused of an aggravated robbery that was reduced to a third-degree assault. He has pending cases of fleeing police and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also has a probation violation. His next court appearance on the murder charge will be on March 28.

On his social media website Facebook page, Giner identifies himself as a member of the Duluth Denfeld class of 2014.

Rubin said assistant St. Louis County attorney Rebekka Stumme will be prosecuting the adult portion of the case.

Investigation results

According to the juvenile delinquency petition:

Starnes lived at the residence with five other renters. Two of them returned home Saturday afternoon and found the victim in the doorway of the house, lying on his back, covered in jackets. Members of the Duluth Fire Department arrived and found the victim dead.

Duluth police interviewed the renters and learned that they had left the home about 1:30 p.m. last Friday to attend a concert in Minneapolis and stayed overnight in the Twin Cities area.


Two of the renters said Starnes was last seen at home with two other male visitors before the renters left. One of the visitors was identified as Lucas Allan Pietrowski, but the renters didn't know who the other male was. He was later determined to be Giner.

At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, a search warrant was signed and investigators began to process the scene. Officers found blood in the basement where the victim lived. The blood evidence indicated that he was in the basement when first assaulted. It was determined that the victim's PlayStation 3 and cell phone were missing.

Someone called 911 just before midnight Monday to report he was sold a hookah pipe and PlayStation 3 console by Giner on Sunday. The reporting party believed the property belonged to the victim. The call documented that the reporting party was with Giner's stepfather.

A roommate of the victim was shown photographs of the hookah pipe and told police that it belonged to the victim.

Pietrowski was interviewed by police on Sunday. He said he had been at the home with someone he knew as "Tree." He said he left the home at 11 p.m. Friday, but "Tree" stayed there with Starnes. Police confirmed that Pietrowski left when he said he did by checking Yellow Cab taxi logs.

On Monday, police re-interviewed Pietrowski. He identified "Tree" as Ricky Giner. Investigators used Facebook and the Duluth police database to identify Giner. Police found the juvenile at his home on Upham Road at 6:17 p.m. Monday. The juvenile's mother gave permission for officers to search the home. In the kitchen pantry area of the home, a black suitcase type bag containing a multicolored glass "bong" of the type commonly used to smoke marijuana was found.

Giner's mother and her boyfriend told police that the bong belonged to Giner.

The victim's roommate told police that the large multicolored bong belonged to members of her residence and was last seen there by her.


Giner was taken to police headquarters to be interviewed. He admitted that he and Pietrowski had been dropped off at the victim's residence. He said that when they arrived, the renters were leaving to go to a concert. He was able to describe the interior layout of the home.

He said that he was there with Pietrowski and one of the renters. Giner's description of the renter matched Starnes, but he said the renter identified himself as "Tree." He said that while at the residence they talked, played PlayStation 3 in the victim's bedroom and smoked from a Hookah pipe.

Giner said Pietrowski called for a cab and left. Giner said he was the last person to leave the residence about five minutes after Pietrowski, according to police.

During the interview, investigators noticed scrape mark injuries to Giner's right hand and two cuts on his right palm. He claimed he received the injuries on March 5 during a fight in West Duluth. He would not identify who he fought with. His mother said he had been in a fight around that time and she had seen those injuries. The juvenile said that he was playing with a double-edged knife on March 10 and cut himself. He said he sold the knife to a friend of his mother's for $20 on March 10.

A search warrant was conducted on Giner's person. His shoes showed signs of cleaning and possible blood. Blood was found on a camouflage jacket that he said the victim lent him.

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