Murder Trial Dates Set in Cuming County

WEST POINT – A father-son duo accused of killing a rural Bancroft man and burning down his house are both scheduled for trial this fall.

Both 48-year old Jody Olson and 27-year old Derek Olson were arraigned in Cuming County District Court on Thursday. Both pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, arson and other related charges in the death of Ernest Warnock at his home in March.

Prior to their pleas, attorneys for both Derek and Jody Olson attempted to file a motion to quash, which essentially would have rendered the charges filed against them invalid. The defense argued that prosecutors had not provided enough evidence to file both 2nd degree murder and felony accessory charges, but Judge Mark Johnson overruled them in each case.

The trials for both Derek and Jody Olson have both been scheduled to begin on September 25th.

A third suspect, Becky Weitzenkamp, is accused of arson and being an accessory. She will be arraigned in district court on September 7th.

There’s also a warrant out in Dakota County for a fourth suspect, Jenna Merrill, who is accused of false reporting related to the case.

Our thanks to KTIV’s Danielle Davis for providing the courthouse footage

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