Evidence backlog delays murder trial

Michael Lee LaFlex is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of his daughter's boyfriend.

The Crow Wing County Judicial Center is off Laurel Street in Brainerd.

BRAINERD — A request for more time in the case against the 45-year-old Center Township man accused of murdering his daughter’s boyfriend was discussed in court Thursday, March 9.

Michael Lee LaFlex appeared in person before Judge Charles Halverson in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd. LaFlex’s public defender Danielle Hultstrand asked Halverson for another 90 days as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was behind and evidence was still being processed.

Michael LaFlex
Michael Lee LaFlex.

Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Quinn Hoffman had no objection to Hultstrand’s request.

Halverson granted the request as he believes it could take six to eight months for the BCA to process all the evidence.

LaFlex remains in custody at Crow Wing County Jail and is due back in Crow Wing County District Court May 30.



In November 2022, LaFlex was arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation — a serious felony.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office, 23-year-old Bryce Brogle was reported missing Oct. 28, 2022, after going to a storage unit rented by LaFlex two days earlier.

During the investigation, LaFlex initially told law enforcement Brogle was arrested by unknown officers and Brogle had two cell phones confiscated by law enforcement. LaFlex later changed his story, saying he disposed of the phones in a garbage can at a gas station in Brainerd, according to the complaint. Investigating law enforcement officers found the phones.

The complaint stated further investigation included information gained from a concerned citizen, who wished to remain anonymous, but was known to law enforcement. The citizen had occasional conversations throughout the evening of Oct. 29, 2022, with a family member of LaFlex. The family member said LaFlex disclosed details of the incident with them, including that LaFlex believed Brogle was abusing LaFlex’s daughter.

According to the citizen, the family member learned LaFlex shot Brogle at a storage unit complex in Crow Wing County on or around the evening of Oct. 26, 2022, and moved the body using a sled. LaFlex then cleaned the storage unit with bleach and told the family member he disposed of the body and Brogle would not be found as the body was buried, according to the complaint.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at LaFlex’s storage unit Oct. 29, 2022, and recovered a substance testing positive for blood on the floor, along with a bottle of bleach. There were also marks on the concrete floor that appeared consistent with a similar width of a sled dragging across the floor.

Law enforcement conducted a foot search of public land Oct. 30, 2022, in Crow Wing County looking for Brogle’s body. They identified a possible gravesite and excavated a body with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head. The body, later identified as Brogle’s, was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, which determined the cause of death to be a distant gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment.


TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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