MINNEAPOLIS - A man already serving time in a Minnesota prison for robbery is now charged with a 1975 murder.
Earlier this week Hennepin County prosecutors filed second degree murder charges against 61-year-old Michael John Husten. Husten was originally a suspect in the homicide of Roger Haugen of Minneapolis, who was 24 at the time of his death, but investigators were never able to prove a case.
That changed in 2011, when Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators obtained a confession from Husten while following up on the cold case.
"This case is a classic example of our often spoken commitment to never let an unsolved homicide investigation end," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. "The county attorney's office and our law enforcement partners continue to work on unsolved homicides until they are solved."
According to a criminal complaint filed against Huston, police were sent to the Hennepin County Medical Center on Feb. 8, 1975, to check up on a man who had been dropped off at the hospital with a severe head injury. That man was Roger Haugen, who died at the hospital the next day. His cause of death was a brain stem hemorrhage caused by a blow to the head.
Detectives learned that a squad car had been sent to Haugen's apartment at 3644 Nicollet Ave. at 2:21 a.m. Feb. 8 on reports of an assault. The officers spoke to Haugen and Husten, who were both in the apartment at the time.
When Haugen later died, Husten immediately became a suspect, but there never was enough evidence to charge him.
In 2011 Husten admitted to killing Haugen in a meeting with BCA investigators. He later repeated the confession to a Minneapolis Police Department homicide investigator, admitting he picked up a stereo receiver and smashed Haugen's head during a fight between the two men.
The original investigator in the case reported that he saw damaged stereo equipment in the apartment.
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