Man faces murder charges after body found

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SANDSTONE — An eastern Minnesota man faces murder and arson charges after a man’s body was discovered last month in a burned-out mobile home near Finlayson.

Robert Sam Raisch Jr. of Sandstone is charged with second-degree murder, arson and assault. He’s accused of beating 59-year-old James Shepardson before setting the mobile home on fire March 7.

An autopsy found Shepardson suffered skull fractures that would have been fatal, but a medical examiner determined he wasn’t yet dead when the fire filled the residence with toxic smoke.

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Raisch made his initial appearance in court Tuesday. His next court hearing is scheduled for May 7.

A message seeking comment was left with his public defender Tuesday.