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Troxel's bail set at $1.5 million

Jedidiah Dean Troxel

The Crookston man accused of killing a Thief River Falls woman had his bail set at $1.5 million in his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Jedidiah Dean Troxel faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Tanya Kazmierczak, who was found dead in rural Pennington County Sunday. Aug. 26. Authorities arrested Troxel Monday Aug. 27 and charged him the following day.

He remained in Pennington County Jail on Wednesday.

Troxel appeared in front of District Court Judge Donald Aandal in Thief River Falls. Attorneys with Pennington County Attorney's Office and the Minnesota Attorney General's Office represented the prosecution.

The manager of the Public Defender's Office, Kip Fontaine, appeared for Troxel at the initial hearing. Fontaine said Troxel would have an attorney appointed in the next couple of days.

Troxel's next appearance is Oct. 29, when he will be able to enter plea of guilty or not guilty, said County Attorney Alan Rogalla. "Between now and then, we'll be working on the case."

Linked to crime

The prosecution team will include Assistant Attorney General Eric Schieferdecker, Rogalla said. He was a prosecutor in the murder trial of Thomas Fairbanks, convicted of murdering Mahnomen County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Dewey in 2011.

Troxel became the focus of a homicide investigation after Kazmierczak, 40, did not return home from a party in Thief River Falls early on Saturday. Aug. 25. Witnesses from the party said she was last seen with Troxel. Her body was discovered near a boat landing on the Red Lake River a few miles from town the next day. An autopsy ruled her death a homicide by stabbing and cutting.

Investigators with the Pennington County Sheriff's Department, Thief River Falls Police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension linked Troxel through a boot print at crime scene. Troxel's claim that he left the party and stopped a convenience store was contradicted by the store's surveillance video. He also revealed to investigators he knew the location of the crime scene before they told him where Kazmierczak was found.

Kazmierczak's funeral is planned for Saturday in Thief River Falls.

Call Bjorke at (701) 780-1117; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1117; or send e-mail to