A Louisiana couple who led authorities on a two-week manhunt were indicted on murder charges Thursday in the death of a rural Wright County woman who was found strangled to death in her bedroom closet.
A grand jury indicted Jeremy Brooks, 27, with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the Aug. 3 death of Ruth Ouverson near Montrose, Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly said. Brooks' girlfriend, Cody Martinez, 28, was indicted with abetting the same offenses.
Kelly said an amended charging complaint will allege that Ouverson, a 58-year-old educator in the Rockford schools, was strangled with a fan electrical cord from her bedroom and had marks indicating she was punched.
Judge Kathleen Mottl kept bail at $1 million for Brooks and $500,000 for Martinez.
The two led state and federal officers on a two-week manhunt to North Dakota. The couple had been held in the Wright County Jail since August. About 60 state and federal officers found Brooks, hiding and cold in a wheat field near Drake, N.D., early on Aug. 17.
Martinez was arrested two days earlier in the same area. Initially, Martinez was charged with helping Brooks avoid arrest in Ouverson's death while Brooks was charged with second-degree murder. The couple are also charged with two homicides in July in Louisville, Ky., and an attempted murder and armed robbery of a man lured to their motel room in Slidell, La., on June 2.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)