The man accused of fatally shooting four people whose bodies were found in an SUV stashed in a Wisconsin cornfield told his father that he "snapped," according to charges filed Tuesday.
The charges revealed that the four were shot in the area of W. 7th Street in St. Paul before they were driven 60 miles east to the Dunn County field, the charges said, with surveillance video capturing images of one victim slumped in the front seat along the route.
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office charged Antoine Darnique Suggs, 38, with four counts of second-degree murder in the quadruple slayings. Suggs turned himself in to authorities in his home state of Arizona last week after authorities announced that he was wanted for questioning.
He told his father that "he snapped and shot a couple of people," according to the charges. His father, Darren McWright, 56, is being held at the Ramsey County jail in connection with Suggs' attempt to hide the victim's bodies in the field, authorities said.
"We are greatly relieved that the police investigation has yielded enough information to bring forward criminal charges today in this very disturbing case," County Attorney John Choi said in a statement released Tuesday. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims."
The charges did not indicate a motive.
The bodies of Nitosha Flug-Presley of Stillwater, 30, Jasmine C. Sturm, 30, Matthew Pettus, 26, and Loyace Foreman III, 35, all of St. Paul, were discovered Sept. 12 in a bloodied black Mercedes SUV that had been driven into the field. The four were killed sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 3:48 a.m., according to the charges.
Flug-Presley, who according to family members had been dating Suggs, was shot in the mouth, according to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner. Pettus had been shot twice in the back of the head and had a third gunshot wound to his left arm. Foreman was shot in the face and the top of his head. Sturm was shot once, with the bullet traveling through her left palm before it entered her left cheek, passing through her spinal cord.
Suggs drove around the Twin Cities for several hours, with surveillance video from three locations showing Flug-Presley's body in the front passenger seat of Suggs' vehicle.
Witnesses and surveillance video placed Suggs with the victims at the White Squirrel bar on W. 7th Street sometime after 1 a.m. on Sept. 12. One witness told authorities she argued with Suggs at the bar while he was there with Flug-Presley, Sturm and Pettus.
"The man said something about having six children and this happening every time he comes back to Minnesota," according to the charges. The witness later identified Suggs out of a photo lineup as the man she argued with.
Another witness said she was with Flug-Presley and saw her get into a black SUV along with Pettus and Sturm, adding that Flug-Presley didn't make any posts to her Snapchat after leaving the bar. Suggs' phone and surveillance video show that he and the black Mercedes SUV returned to the White Squirrel about 2:50 a.m. and remained parked there until 3:30 a.m.
The SUV then drove around W. 7th Street before passing a surveillance video camera at 7th and Walnut Streets about 3:48 a.m., and video shows Flug-Presley slumped over in the front passenger seat, the charges read.
Suggs called his father at 4:30 a.m. A few hours later, the SUV is seen again on surveillance video near University Avenue and Eustis Street at 7:42 a.m., this time with a Nissan Rogue leading the SUV. Flug-Presley can again be seen in the front seat.
The SUV is seen again on surveillance video at 9:48 a.m. at a Holiday gas station at Snelling Avenue North, still with Flug-Presley's body in the front seat.
Suggs got out of the vehicle and entered the store. He didn't wear a face covering and can be clearly seen, according to the charges.
Investigators used phone tracking data and surveillance video to follow Suggs and his father as they drove around St. Paul for several hours before driving to Wisconsin. The pair left their phones in St. Paul when they headed east on Interstate 94, investigators said.
McWright was arrested first, and he told investigators that Suggs showed up at 5 a.m. on Sept. 12 with his mother at the place where McWright had spent the night.
Suggs told his mother and father to take care of his kids and to get along with each other, and then Suggs' mother left, according to the charges. Suggs then told his father to follow him around in his mother's vehicle, the Nissan Rogue.
Suggs eventually told his father that he had shot "a couple of people," and that the shooting took place in a vehicle on West Seventh Street. McWright told authorities that he drove Suggs back to Minnesota after they left the SUV in a cornfield, but denied knowing that there were bodies in the Mercedes.
Choi, in his statement on Tuesday, thanked the St. Paul Police Department, which is now the lead agency in the deaths, and other law enforcement agencies for their work in the case.
Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329