The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the murder and kidnapping convictions of a former probation officer for her alleged involvement in the 2019 death of Minneapolis real estate agent Monique Baugh.
Elsa Segura was initially sentenced to life without parole for her alleged role in the killing, but is now entitled to a new trial due to insufficient evidence and erroneous jury instructions, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors alleged that Segura lured Baugh to a fake home showing, leading to her murder on New Year’s Eve 2019. Baugh’s boyfriend was also targeted but survived.
Baugh’s shocking murder rocked the real estate industry, prompting companies to review security practices and reckon with the rare but frightening violent incidents in the brokerage world.
The 2021 first-degree murder convictions of Berry Alexander Davis and Cedric Lamont Berry were affirmed by the state supreme court, while a ruling on the alleged mastermind behind the plot, Lyndon Wiggins, is still pending. Davis and Berry were also given concurrent sentences of 13 years for kidnapping and 20 years for attempted murder, respectively. Their life sentences without parole will begin after they serve their other sentences.
At the time of sentencing, the victim’s mother had implored the judge to give the longest possible sentence.
Wiggins allegedly had a falling out with Baugh’s boyfriend, leading to the attack, according to prosecutors.
Segura admitted to arranging the fake showing but claimed she was unaware of any plan to harm Baugh, believing she was assisting in a drug operation. Segura allegedly used a fake name on calls to Baugh from a cellphone purchased under that alias and the phone was only used to contact Baugh.
The majority of the court found sufficient evidence for felony murder charges but not for premeditated murder or attempted murder. The majority cited the trial judge’s erroneous jury instructions as a significant factor in the decision to overturn the convictions.
The case will return to the lower court for further proceedings on Segura’s remaining charges.
— Ted Glanzer