Men indicted on murder charges in beating death

Published 10:17 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

CHASKA — Two men have been indicted on first-degree felony murder charges in the death of a 90-year-old man who was robbed in his rural Carver County home.

Thirty-five-year-old Reinol Vergara and 30-year-old Edson Benitez initially were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Earl Olander. A grand jury indicted both men Wednesday on two counts of aiding first-degree murder.

Olander was found dead in his ransacked San Francisco Township home in April. His hands were bound behind his back with duct tape and he had suffered several blunt-force injuries to his head and other parts of his upper body.

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Court documents said Vergara, who had once painted Olander’s house, told police he knew Olander would be an easy target because he lived alone and had money.