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Lake City man charged in shooting death of girlfriend

Tanner Rix, who was charged Monday in connection with last week’s shooting death of his girlfriend in St. Croix County Circuit Court, makes his way into the courtroom for his initial appearance. (Photo by Sarah Young)

A 22-year-old Lake City, Minn., man was charged in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Monday, Sept. 15, with felony counts of first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Angel C. Linderman, 28, of Lake City, Minn.

Tanner J. Rix faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, which is a Class A felony. In his court appearance Monday, St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell asked if Rix understood the gravity of the charges. His answer was yes.

Rix’s attorney, assistant state public defender Brian Smestad, requested a speedy preliminary hearing, which was granted. Rix’s next appearance in St. Croix County Circuit Court is at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19.

Rix is being held on a $250,000 bond, which was set Wednesday, Sept. 10.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Croix County Emergency Communications received a 911 call from Rix at 11:48 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Rix allegedly asked for a medical helicopter and told dispatch that his girlfriend had been shot in the head, but was still alive. Rix then allegedly said, “I shot her,” according to police reports.

A St. Croix County deputy arrived in the area of 260th Street just north of 90th Avenue in the Town of Baldwin at about noon. According to the complaint, he found a 1999 black Mercury Cougar registered to Linderman sitting sideways in the road.

The deputy found Rix standing near a .22 High Standard revolver and a knife that lay in the roadway. When the deputy performed a search of the vehicle, he found Linderman’s body laying face down, with her head resting on the front passenger floorboard. Her legs and feet were reportedly between the front seats extending into the rear passenger area. She was hidden by a full-sized car tire on top of a blue tarp. The deputy reported her body was not visible from outside the vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, while being examined by a medical professional, Rix was overheard by a St. Croix County investigator yelling “I actually shot my girlfriend this morning,” and “I shot my girlfriend in the face today on accident.”

During an autopsy conducted on Linderman on Sept. 10 by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul, it was found that Linderman died from a single gunshot wound to the head by a small caliber weapon fired from close range. It’s estimated she died between 4 and 6 a.m., Sept. 9, but it could have been earlier than 4 a.m.. the medical examiner said in his report.

Rix was convicted July 9, 2013, of a felony drug charge in Olmsted County, Minnesota District Court.

The counts Rix is charged with are considered repeater charges, due to his felony conviction in Minnesota.

Smestad, Rix’s attorney, declined to comment on the case.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rix or Linderman between noon on Sept. 8 and the time of the 911 call at noon on Sept. 9 should call the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office at 715-386-4320.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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