When police found Carolyn Marie Leete on Saturday, the 32-year-old’s head was covered in blood and a large blood splatter, about 12 inches in diameter, was on the wall nearby.
The St. Paul woman, an artist and nanny, was dead and police say it was at her boyfriend’s hands. The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged Brent Lanier Lynch, 26, today with second-degree murder.
Lynch is the son of R&B singer Roger Troutman, who was fatally shot in Dayton in 1999. Troutman’s brother also was found dead and police called it a murder-suicide, saying Larry Troutman had shot Roger.
A woman who answered the door at Lynch’s home declined comment Monday and his attorney had no comment today.
The complaint, filed in Ramsey County District Court, gives this account:
Leete and Brent Lynch had dated for two to three years, Lynch’s mother told police.
Lynch, of St. Paul, told a neighbor that Leete had been drunk and he brought her upstairs in his home in the 800 block of West Minnehaha Avenue. He said he tried to throw Leete on the bed, “but she missed and hit her head on the floor,” the complaint said. He said all the blood was coming from Leete’s nose and the bed sheets were wet because he threw water on Leete to revive her.
The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office found Leete’s blood-alcohol concentration was less than 0.04 at the time of her death (the legal limit to drive in Minnesota is 0.08). They said the cause of her death was traumatic head injury due to physical assault. There were “numerous contusions to the back of Leete’s head and chin, lacerations on both lips ... fractured nasal bones ... numerous contusions of the body, and a fractured rib,” the complaint said.
Lynch is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 235 pounds, according to a citation from a January case. An online modeling profile, from when Leete was 31 years old, said she was 5 feet 5 inches tall and 95 pounds.
Police were summoned to the Minnehaha Avenue home about 6:10 a.m.
Carolyn Marie Leete, a 32-year-old woman who was the victim of a homicide in St. Paul on March 3, 2012.
Saturday, when a woman called 911 and said, “You better start an ambulance, someone needs CPR. We need police and medics,” the complaint said. The phone went dead and police responded to investigate.
Inside the house, police saw Leete on a bed, with her legs hanging off the side. She had no pants on, her shirt pulled up and one boot on. She had no pulse and was unresponsive.
There were numerous bruises on her arms, and what appeared to be defensive marks and scratches on her hands. Her head was covered in blood that appeared to be coming from her mouth, nose and eyes. Two feet from Leete’s head was a large blood splatter on the wall, about 12 inches in diameter.
Officers also found blood at the bottom of the stairs, where there appeared to have been a fight. There were blood drops on the stairs to the second-floor landing and on the base of a wooden bookshelf.
Brenda Lynch, Brent Lynch’s mother, said her son called her about 3 a.m. that day and said, “You won’t believe this - Carolyn let somebody steal the damn car. Carolyn was so busy getting out of the car to see where I was, and somebody took the damn car,” the complaint said.
Brenda Lynch told her son she wouldn’t pick him up because she could tell he had been drinking. She also told police that when he drinks, “he gets crazy and it terrifies her,” the complaint said. She asked her sister, Glenda Jett, to pick up her son.
Brenda Lynch didn’t want to be home when her son returned, so she and her granddaughter left and went to the girl’s mother’s house nearby.
Jett told police that she found the couple about 4 a.m. at Charles Avenue and St. Albans Street. She said “Leete appeared extremely intoxicated and Lynch had to carry her to the car,” and that Lynch had been drinking but didn’t appear drunk, the complaint said.
Leete had what appeared to be “road rash” above a hip, but no other visible injuries, Jett said. Jett dropped them off at the Minnehaha Avenue home. Leete fell in the parking lot, and Lynch helped her up and inside, Jett said.
At about 6 a.m., Lynch called Jett and asked her to come see if Leete was OK. She came next door and found Leete bloody and unresponsive.
“She’s going to wake up, right?” Lynch asked Jett. “She’s going to get up, right?”
When a woman who lives next door and had nursing training tried to perform chest compressions on Leete, she was cold to the touch.
After police were called, they saw a taxi driving slowly on Minnehaha Avenue, as if the driver were looking for someone. They saw a man wave the cab down and get in. When police stopped the cab, they found Lynch inside and police arrested him.
While waiting for the doors to open at the Ramsey County jail, Lynch hung his head and shook it.
“It wasn’t supposed to go down like this,” the complaint quoted him as saying. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was the alcohol.” Inside the jail, he told staff, “Please be nice to me. I’m here for a long time.”
Lynch has four felony convictions involving other women. He was convicted of making terroristic threats against his then-pregnant girlfriend, and the same offense shortly after she gave birth. He also was convicted of third-degree assault against a different woman and criminal damage to property.
Lynch appeared on the “Judge Joe Brown” show as a litigant, according to a spokeswoman for the show. She said it aired Nov. 20, 2009, but didn’t have information about the case.
Lynch’s father, Roger Troutman, founded what the Dayton Daily News described as “the chart-topping soul and funk band Zapp.” He made the “talk box” famous, and was responsible for a R&B hits such as, “I Can Make You Dance,” “Doo Wa Ditty,” “Computer Love” and “More Bounce to the Ounce,” according to Electronic Urban Report.
Lynch’s brother, Roger Troutman Lynch, died Jan. 22, 2003. His death certificate shows he died at Regions Hospital, of pneumonia and injuries from an accident. “City Pages” reported that Roger Lynch, who was also a musician, had been found unconscious in September 2002 and the newspaper wrote that “his head (was) caved in (apparently as a result of an accident, though some friends said it was assault).”
Staff researcher Pat Thraen contributed to this report.
Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262.