Grand jury indicts suspects in north Brainerd shootings

A grand jury has indicted two Brainerd men, Tyler Allan Cronquist and Nathan David Becker, in connection with the Jan. 4 shootings of two people at an apartment on the 800 block of Juniper Street in Brainerd.

Tyler Allan Cronquist, 23, was charged with second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation; attempted second-degree murder with intent; first-degree assault to cause great bodily harm; and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

A grand jury has indicted two Brainerd men, Tyler Allan Cronquist and Nathan David Becker, in connection with the Jan. 4 shootings of two people at an apartment on the 800 block of Juniper Street in Brainerd.

Cronquist, 23, and Becker, 26 - each wearing a Crow Wing County Jail issued navy blue jumpsuit and with their hands shackled at their waists - appeared separately Friday to be indicted on the new, more serious charges before Judge Earl Maus in Crow Wing County District Court.

Cronquist was indicted on first-degree murder with premeditation and attempted first-degree murder with premeditation; Becker was indicted on first-degree aiding and abetting Cronquist on both counts.

First-degree murder with premeditation and aiding and abetting first-degree murder have a life in prison sentence, upon conviction.

The original eight second-degree felony charges against the two men were dismissed.


Becker, who came into court limping with his head down, was seen before Cronquist. Becker, who was represented by a public defender, now is being represented by Tracy Eichhorn-Hicks, an attorney from St. Louis Park.

Eichhorn-Hicks, who was dressed in a plaid button-down shirt and jeans, apologized to the judge for his attire as he didn't have enough time to change to get to court. He said it was the first time in his 40 years in law that he didn't have a suit on in court.

Judge Maus read the indictment to Becker and read Becker his rights, which included his right to remain silent and the right to a jury or court trial.

Assistant County Attorney David Hermerding, who was filling in for Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan, recommended to the court to keep the conditions of release for Becker the same from when he was charged on Jan. 6. Bond was set at $1 million with no conditions or $500,000 with conditions, which include no contact with the victims or their families.

Eichhorn-Hicks didn't raise any issues on the bond and the judge agreed to keep the bond the same. The judge also issued a court order for the grand jury transcripts to be sent to Eichhorn-Hicks.

Eichhorn-Hicks addressed the judge and said Becker has physical and emotional needs. He said Becker was on several medications and he would like to see him get back on them. The attorney also said Becker is unable to speak because of a tooth problem.

Maus said jail staff can look at Becker and make sure those needs are met.

The judge set Becker's next hearing for 9 a.m. April 8.


Minutes after Becker's hearing was done, Cronquist appeared with his public defender. Again, Maus read Cronquist the grand jury indictment and read Cronquist his rights. The terms of the bond stayed the same as previously set - identical to Becker's.

Cronquist's next court hearing will be 1:30 p.m. April 6.

When the indictment hearings were concluded, at the request of the Brainerd Dispatch, Ryan provided the grand jury's witness list. The list included Brainerd Police Investigators Craig Katzenberger and Chad Kleffman, Crow Wing County Sheriff deputies Dave Davis and Mike Ruuhela, Eric Jaeche of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Troy Nash of the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division.

Ryan said the grand jury convened Wednesday and came up with the indictment Thursday afternoon. Information on what happened when the grand jury convened and information, such as how many jurors there were, are not public data and are kept in strict confidence.

When looking at grand juries in general, Ryan said typically the defense does not participate in a grand jury. Ryan said typically there are about 18-23 people who are appointed to be on a grand jury for a whole year.

Background on the Jan. 4 Shootings

The shootings were reported shortly after 5 p.m. Jan. 4 at an apartment on the 800 block of Juniper Street in Brainerd.

The victims were Joseph Kroll, 31, Brainerd, and Chelsey Crawford, 31, Brainerd. The victims were airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where Kroll died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. Crawford, who also suffered a gunshot wound to the head, underwent surgery for her injuries.


Cronquist and Becker fled the scene and law enforcement conducted a search to locate them.

Becker was taken into custody after police located him in a vehicle about 10 p.m. Jan. 4 outside the SuperAmerica Station on South Sixth Street in Brainerd. At about 11 p.m. Jan. 4, Cronquist turned himself in to police. Both were arrested without incident, police said.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at .

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