Man convicted in murder of Eagan woman and unborn child

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Vern Jason Mouelle has been indicted with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder Photo Courtesy: Dakota County Jail

A Dakota County Grand Jury convicted a Brooklyn Park man accused of killing a woman and her unborn child.

Vern Jason Mouelle, 24, was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old Senicha Maria Lessman and her unborn baby. Mouelle was the father of the child. Lessman was about 32 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident. 

According to investigators, on January 24, 2017, Lessman's mother found her daughter unconscious and naked with a bloody cloth in her mouth inside the bedroom of her home in Eagan. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later determined Lessman died of a knife wound to the neck obstructed airway. 

Police tracked down Mouelle and his vehicle, which inside they found a recently purchased pocket knife, Lessman's phone and bloody women's clothing. After analyzing his cell phone, investigators found internet searches made while he was driving to Lessman's home before the murder. The searches included: "How long would it take to die if your external jugular vein(s) was slit" and "How much time does it take to knock someone out with a rear naked choke".

"We are pleased to have brought Vern Mouelle to justice for this horrific crime which tragically claimed the life of Senicha Lessman and her unborn child," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. "Our deep sympathy is extended to the victim’s family and friends.” 

The judge sentenced Mouelle to two consecutive terms of life without parole.