ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A man charged with murdering a Waite Park woman last February has been found competent to face the charges against him.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jarquez Bedford is charged with three counts of murder, including a charge of 1st-degree premeditated murder for the death of 52-year-old Andrea Cottew.

Waite Park Police were conducting a welfare check at 320 Park Meadows Drive last February and found Cottew dead inside her apartment.

Court records show officers arrived to find the apartment door locked and no forced entry. There was blood throughout the apartment and Cottew's body was found with cuts to her neck.

Police say the areas with the most concentration of blood were the living room and the bedroom. The victim's mattress was saturated with blood and a blood-stained kitchen knife was found on the floor next to the bed. Cottew's phone, wallet, keys, and apartment key fob were missing.

Surveillance video shows Cottew entering the apartment building the day before. Moments later, Bedford is seen knocking on the locked entry door with Cottew responding and letting him in.

Within the hour, court records show Bedford was seen on surveillance with his sweatshirt turned inside out and was coming and going from the apartment building for multiple hours. The charges allege Bedford was alone and was using Cottew's key fob for access to the building.

Officers later learned that Bedford was staying with some tenants on the 3rd floor of the building. Police say when Bedford returned to the 3rd-floor apartment unit, one of the tenants asked Bedford where he was. Bedford allegedly said he had been looking for a job and "one just came to him".

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The charges allege officers interviewed Bedford who gave police multiple details about the case that were not public, but he denied killing Cottew. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also conducted DNA testing at the crime scene and matched what they say was Bedford's DNA to the handle of the knife.

Bedford is being held in the Stearns County Jail on $4-million unconditional bail and $2-million bail with conditions.

 


 

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