Murder charges: Suspect believed roommate told on her for drinking at sober house

A 46-year-old Bloomington, Minn. woman was charged Wednesday for allegedly murdering her 69-year-old roommate in their Bloomington apartment by bludgeoning her and wrapping a cord around her neck.

Donna Mae Bastyr now faces second degree murder charges in relation to the death of Corrine Gibbs and, if convicted, could spend up to 40 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, on Sunday around 8:08 p.m. another roommate called police after finding Gibbs dead inside their apartment at a sober living facility on the 8100 block of 12th Avenue.

When police arrived they found Gibbs lying on the floor of her bedroom, partially covered by clothes and boxes. They saw blood on the boxes, bed, wall and floor as well as on a dumbbell and a ceramic bowl. Gibbs also had an electrical cord around her neck. Gibbs had multiple bloody injuries throughout her body and head.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later determined Gibbs died from homicidal violence. According to the preliminary autopsy report, Gibbs suffered six broken ribs, cartilage fractures along her neck, bruising on her arms and injuries on her head and face.

While police were at the homicide scene, several other officers responded to a domestic call in the 1100 block of East 80th Street involving a drunk and disorderly woman. When they arrived they found Bastyr. During a police interview, investigators noticed she had multiple scrapes and bruises. Bastyr told police she had spent part of the day with her boyfriend.

Investigators later interviewed her boyfriend, who told them on the day of the homicide Bastyr was "extremely intoxicated." He told investigators Bastyr did not get along with Gibbs and had told him Gibbs was "going to get hers." The boyfriend explained she was mad at Gibbs because she thought Gibbs had reported on her for drinking at the sober house, and she could be dropped from the program.

He told police Bastyr called  and said she killed Gibbs by bludgeoning her to death and wrapping an electrical cord around her neck. She then asked him to help her hide the body. She told him Gibbs "paid for what she did."

Bastyr will have her first court appearance on Thursday.