Isanti man to plead guilty for the murder of Amanda Jo Vangrinsven

The man accused of killing 32-year-old Amanda Jo Vangrinsven in August 2021 after her body was found buried on his property filed paperwork to enter a guilty plea.

Richard Melvin Peterson II, 38, of Isanti, will plead guilty to second-degree murder with intent in the death of Vangrinsven in exchange for a 285-month sentence (nearly 24 years) with credit for timed serve and the charge of concealing a body to be dismissed. The paperwork was filed on Feb. 2, according to court documents.  

On Aug. 5, Vangrinsven was drinking at the Isanti VFW, where she also worked. She left the VFW later that night with Peterson to go to another bar. When she did not show up for work the following day, she was reported missing. 

Five days later, on Aug. 10, investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 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. 

The judge still has to accept Peterson’s guilty plea, and a hearing is set for Feb. 13.