Cloquet man pleads guilty in woman’s 2000 murder

Published 2:55 pm Saturday, July 27, 2013

DULUTH — A Cloquet man has pleaded guilty to killing a woman nearly 13 years ago.

Forty-two-year-old Joseph Couture pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday in St. Louis County.

Couture also pleaded guilty to witness tampering and aiding and abetting arson in the first degree. He was sentenced to more than 39 years in prison.

Email newsletter signup

In court, Couture admitted he murdered 33-year-old Trina Langenbrunner on Sept. 3, 2000.

Prosecutors alleged Couture, who lived a block away from Langenbrunner, stabbed her and left her on the side of a road near Brookston.

According to the complaint, on the night Langenbrunner died, a witness saw Couture, “covered in blood,” light a fire, strip off his clothing and shoes and burn them.

The case remained unsolved until Couture’s arrest last year.