Police sort out details of Duluth homicide

Two men involved in a marijuana deal wound up cooperating with Duluth police and helping to identify Spencie Walker as the man who allegedly shot and killed Stanley Boody.

Two men involved in a marijuana deal wound up cooperating with Duluth police and helping to identify Spencie Walker as the man who allegedly shot and killed Stanley Boody.

Eyewitnesses to Duluth's first homicide of 2008 provided police with several different versions of events in a drug deal gone awry on June 14. Boody and Walker were shot and the stories being told made it difficult to sort out who was a victim and who was a suspect, police said Monday.

Duluth police Lt. Scott Drewlo estimated that officers conducted more than a dozen interviews and several re-interviews of witnesses to try to determine what led to Boody being killed, Walker being wounded and a third man being pistol-whipped.

"We weren't really quite sure what we had at first,'' said Drewlo, supervisor of the investigative/major crimes bureau. "We had the scene telling us one thing, other victims telling us another and Walker telling us yet another story.We had all these conflicting pieces of information.''

Drewlo said Walker, 21, of Duluth told police that "some unknown, large black male came through the door [at 227 W. Third St., Apt. 3,] stood on the other side of the room and shot them both.''


Walker's version of events gave police what they now believe to be a phantom suspect. Because of the phantom suspect and because of someone possibly seeking retribution for Boody's death, a police officer was placed at a local hospital 24 hours a day for the week Walker was hospitalized.

Late last week, after crime scene investigators studied the shooting scene, measured bullet trajectory and broke down the interviews, they listened to two men who were involved with supplying the marijuana for the drug deal. The men pointed their fingers at Walker as the killer of Boody, Drewlo said.

Witnesses told police that Boody set up a marijuana deal; Walker showed up, wanted the marijuana and didn't want to pay for it. Witnesses said Walker brandished a .45-caliber semi-automatic firearm. Drewlo said it was an off-brand of Spanish or Portuguese make. Police traced the firearm to Indiana.

"Spencie Walker shows up and commences with a drug rip[-off] and Boody winds up wrestling with him for the gun," Drewlo said. "That's where it's possible that Walker shot himself [in the chest] in the struggle.''

Witnesses said Walker also pistol-whipped a third man, who required hospital treatment.

Drewlo said Boody apparently was a friend of one of the marijuana suppliers and other witnesses. That friendship eventually led to the cooperation with police, Drewlo believes.

"We had these witnesses [the marijuana suppliers] who decided to come around and corroborate the truth,'' Drewlo said. "Basically, they did it in memory of their friend Boody. This was after a couple of days and a couple of re-interviews. They did it on their own. 'A guy got killed in this deal we were doing; we owe him this much.' "

Walker was arrested when released from the hospital on Saturday. St. Louis County prosecutor Mark Rubin expects formal charges to be filed against Walker by noon on Wednesday.


Drewlo said the police special investigations/drug unit is conducting its own investigation on whether any drug charges will be brought against those involved in the case.

According to Minnesota adult court records, Walker doesn't have a history of violent crime. He was convicted in 2006 of possessing marijuana in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and in 2005 for possessing a small amount of marijuana. He also has convictions for underage drinking and driving and driving after revocation.

Boody was convicted in 1992 of aggravated robbery in Stearns County and sentenced to three years in prison. He was convicted in 1995 of offering a forged check, in 1996 of attempted theft, in 1999 of issuing a dishonored check, in 2003 of theft by check and in 2007 of possessing marijuana.

"Most of our homicides aren't really whodunits,'' Drewlo said. "In some respects this wasn't, but the sequence of events and the role these suspects had was. [Investigators] meticulously sorted out what happened. Two suppliers in the end told what really happened. They kind of started the ball rolling, and a third guy [the renter of the apartment where the shooting occurred] decided -- when confronted with the evidence -- that he would come clean, too.''

MARK STODGHILL covers public safety and courts. He can be reached weekdays at (218) 723-5333 or by e-mail at .

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