Man sentenced to life in prison after beating girlfriend to death

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, 36-year-old Lacy Jo Krube, in February 2021.

A jury found Timothy Heller guilty of first-degree domestic abuse murder and second-degree murder while committing a felony on Sept. 9. He was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, Sept. 23. He'll be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Monday

Heller was charged with murder after Krube was found dead in a home in St. Paul on Feb. 21, 2021. Police were called to the home for an overdose, but noticed the victim – Krube – appeared to have been assaulted. 

According to investigators, Heller, who did not have a permanent address, and had been invited to stay with a friend at a home on the 7500 block of Brunswick Avenue in Brooklyn Park during the cold snap in February 2021. While he was at the home, Heller asked if his girlfriend could also stay with him, which the friends allowed.

However, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, the homeowners told Heller and Krube they needed to leave the next day. Later on Saturday, as the couple returned to the home, they noticed Krube had bruises. Prosecutors say when Krube told them Heller had beaten her, one of the homeowners began fighting with Heller, who ran from the home.

The homeowners say they tried to convince Krube to go to the hospital but she refused. She asked them instead to take her to her home on Jackson Street in St. Paul, court documents stated. At home, Krube met with some friends who also noticed her injuries and tried to get her to get checked at a hospital but again Krube declined. 

Later on, prosecutors say she began developing stomach pain and lost consciousness. Her friends called paramedics but Krube never regained consciousness and was ultimately pronounced dead.

A medical examiner found Krube had died from a ruptured stomach which caused a condition known as peritonitis – an inflammation in the abdomen.

Victim survivors of intimate partner violence are encouraged to call the Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) at 612.348.5073, or visit DASC, which is located on the lower level of the Hennepin County Government Center, and open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If assistance is needed beyond hours of operation, please contact Day One via phone at 1-866-223-1111 or text at (612) 399-9995.

Resources can also be found by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.