Cottage Grove man charged in connection to wife’s death

Published 9:23 am Friday, January 20, 2017

COTTAGE GROVE — The husband of a Cottage Grove woman who was found dead in their home has been charged with second-degree murder.

Stephen Carl Allwine, 43, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail on Wednesday, according to a press release. He was arrested Tuesday morning in the death of Amy Allwine, 43.

The case was under investigation for two months.

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According to court documents, Stephen Allwine called Cottage Grove police on Nov. 13 after the couple’s 9-year-old son found Amy Allwine dead in their home. Police found her lying on the floor in the bedroom with a gun near her body.

Investigators concluded her death was inconsistent with suicide. They found traces of Amy Allwine’s blood, including the remnants of bloody footprints, between the bedroom and the kitchen. They said it appeared to be an “attempted cleanup.”

There weren’t any signs of forced entry in the house, and security cameras didn’t show anyone coming or going except Stephen Allwine and police.

The FBI had contacted Cottage Grove police earlier in 2016 about a murder-for-hire plot they had come across on the internet.

The couple met with police and were advised to add security features to their house. Stephen Allwine received a handgun carry permit on Aug. 10.

Investigators from the FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Cottage Grove police mapped out a timeline in which a user who went by the handle “dogdaygod” attempted to pay $5,000 to have Amy Allwine killed in a car crash that was to look like an accident.

Authorities later connected Stephen Allwine to account by a 35-character bitcoin address used on one of his smartphones.