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Plea bargain reached in Buffalo County cold case murder

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Randall Merrick

BUFFALO COUNTY (WQOW) - A man accused of killing his roommate and hiding her body nearly five years ago reached a plea bargain with Buffalo County prosecutors Tuesday.

Randall Merrick, now of Rochester Minnesota, pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless homicide. That was reduced from the original charge of first degree intentional homicide.

Merrick's housemate, Beth Johnson, was last seen in the mobile home they shared in Nelson in December 2016. According to the criminal complaint, Merrick was abusive to her, and told an acquaintance that he had hit her too hard and killed her, and put her body in the trunk of her car.

Merrick was charged in June of last year, and a short time later Johnson's remains were found across the state border in Blaine, Minnesota.

A sentencing date for Merrick will now be set.

Beth Johnson

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