Amanda Jo Vangrinsven murderer Richard Peterson sentenced for role in her killing

An Isanti man has been sentenced for the killing of 32-year-old Amanda Jo Vangrinsven in August 2021, when her body was found buried on his property by police.

Richard Melvin Peterson II, 38, of Isanti, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with intent in the death of Vangrinsven. On Wednesday, Judge Krista K. Martin accepted Peterson’s guilty plea, and he was sentenced to 285 months in a corrections facility – with 190 months minimum in custody, and a maximum supervised release of 275 months.

"Plea agreements are not taken lightly and are based on the totality of the case. As with all plea agreement, the victim’s family was consulted, and they supported it," Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad said in a statement.

According to charges, on Aug. 5, 2021, Vangrinsven was drinking at the Isanti VFW, where she also worked. Later that night, she left the VFW with Peterson to go to another bar. However, when she did not show up for work the following day, she was reported missing. 

Five days later, on Aug. 10, 2021, investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) executed a search warrant at Peterson’s property and located her body. The Midwest Medical Examiner determined Vangrinsven died after being shot in the back of the head. Her death was ruled a homicide. 

While noting his previous years of military and community service, Martin said the heinous crime he committed that day outweighed his previous life before it.

Peterson waived his right to make a comment prior to sentencing.