Man charged in murder of girlfriend in Hastings, arrested in Arizona

Authorities in Arizona arrested a 32-year-old man charged in connection to his girlfriend's death in Hastings earlier this year, according to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.

Kyle Steven Williams of Red Wing is charged with second-degree murder for the death of 36-year-old Kelly Kocurek. He faces up to 40 years behind bars.

According to the criminal complaint, on the afternoon of May 18 police responded to a medical call at a hotel in Hastings. When they arrived, Williams met them at the hotel's front door and led them to the room, telling them he could not get Kocurek to wake up and told officers to "zap" her. Once inside the room, officers found Kocurek unresponsive with several cut cords lying next to her. They also noticed her face was bruised and swollen and she had marks around her neck. 

The charges state Williams "continued to scream hysterically" that Kocurek had strangled herself as officers tried to revive her. Emergency crews took her to Regions Hospital, where she went into a coma and died five days later.

Kocurek's mother told police Kocurek and Williams were in a relationship. About 90 minutes before the incident, the mother went to the hotel and dropped off a bag with Kocurek, who appeared in good spirits. A hotel employee told investigators about a half-hour after the mother's visit, they heard "boom, boom, boom, like people were wrestling or fighting" and heard a man yelling "Kelly! Kelly!"

According to the charges, Williams told "numerous versions" of the story but maintained Kocurek had strangled herself with the cord. A different witness who knew Kocurek told police Kocurek had a pre-existing injury on her right arm that limited her ability to use her hand to the point she needed help putting on clothes and brushing her teeth.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office determined Kocurek died of asphyxia due to ligature strangulation and that the injuries did not appear to be self-inflicted. The examiner also noted she suffered numerous traumatic head injuries that he believe came from physical assault.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office filed charges by warrant against Williams on August 19. He was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona on Aug. 26, according to Maricopa County Jail records. He is awaiting extradition to Minnesota.