ST. CLOUD - A Stearns County grand jury indicted a 28-year-old man on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder for the February homicide of a Waite Park woman.
Jarquez J. Bedford was previously charged in April with one felony count of second-degree murder in relation to the death of Andrea Cottew, 52, who was found Feb. 6 during a welfare check in her apartment in the 300 block of Park Meadows Drive in Waite Park.
On Tuesday, Bedford received two additional first-degree murder charges: one count of premeditated murder and one count of intentional murder during an aggravated robbery, both felonies. In Minnesota, a grand jury indictment is required for crimes carrying a life sentence.
Court documents do not list a city of residence for Bedford, but they state he has been in custody in Ramsey County since Feb. 14 after being arrested for a felony probation violation warrant for a 2018 robbery in Kansas. He remains in custody in lieu of $4 million bail. His next court hearing is July 21.
According to the charges, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office determined Cottew suffered three to four knife wounds across her neck and said her death was a homicide.
Waite Park police found no signs of forced entry into her apartment, but her phone, wallet, apartment keys and key fob were missing. Surveillance footage shows Cottew entered her apartment building just past noon on Feb. 5, when a man law enforcement identified as Bedford knocked on the building's locked entry door. The two talked briefly and then walked together toward the door of the first floor hallway, documents state.
"Within an hour, the defendant was observed on video exiting the back door of the apartment building," documents state. "The defendant's sweatshirt had been turned inside out."
Tenants on the third floor of the apartment building told police Bedford was staying with them and that Bedford told them he was looking for a job at the time Cottew was killed.
Testing from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension laboratory found Bedford's DNA was on a knife with Cottew's blood on it, as well as on her purse and a knotted-up sweatshirt in her bedroom, documents state.