Man who ‘already dug the hole’ before killing daughter’s boyfriend gets life in prison

Michael Lee Laflex

A Minnesota man convicted of killing his daughter’s boyfriend, who told the woman’s landlord that he had “already dug the hole” before the murder, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Michael Lee Laflex, 46, of Merrifield, was found guilty on June 10 of one count of premeditated first-degree murder and second-degree murder in April, KSTP-TV reported.

Laflex was convicted by a Crow Wing County jury for the October 2022 death of 23-year-old Bryce Brogle, according to the television station.

During an investigation, the landlord for Laflex’s daughter and Brogle said that the defendant had called him believing his daughter had been physically abused by the victim. He asked if Brogle had hurt her, KVLY-TV reported. After the landlord allegedly said that the woman had two black eyes, Laflex reportedly said he was going to kill Brogle and already had the hole dug, according to the criminal complaint.

According to court records, the defendant’s daughter said that Brogle had gone to a rented storage unit with her father on Oct. 26, 2022.

The Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office said that Brogle was reported missing two days later, the Brainard Dispatch reported.

A witness told the district attorney’s office that Laflex revealed that he had shot Brogle in the head at a storage unit complex in Mission Township, according to the newspaper. According to court documents, Laflex cleaned the unit and moved the body by using a sled. Laflex then allegedly buried Brogle’s body.

Law enforcement officials discovered Brogle’s body on Oct. 30, 2022, the Dispatch reported. An autopsy conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was a distant gunshot wound to the back of the head, according to the newspaper.

Laflex was originally arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditation, the Dispatch reported. On March 30, 2023, a grand jury indicted Laflex on charges of first-degree murder, according to the newspaper.

While he was found guilty on both charges, Laflex was only sentenced on the first-degree murder count, KVLY reported.

In addition to his lifetime in prison, Laflex was ordered to pay $14,596.08 in restitution and court fees, according to the television station.

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