Michael Carbo Jr. facing life in prison for the 1986 murder of Chisholm woman

Michael Carbo Jr. is now facing life in prison if he is convicted later this year of murdering 38-year-old Nancy Daugherty in Chisholm in 1986.

According to court records, a grand jury convened by the St. Louis County Attorney’s office indicted Carbo Jr., 58, with two counts of first degree murder this week.

The indictment was unsealed Thursday morning.

Carbo, 54, was arrested on July 29, 2020, after DNA evidence genealogy databases allegedly helped identify him as the man responsible for the long unsolved crime, and was orginally charged with murder in the second degree, which carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

He now faces life in prison.

His trial is set to start this summer, with jury selection set to begin June 1 in Sixth District Court in Hibbing.

Carbo Jr.’s attorney John D. Schmid filed to motions Wednesday afternoon in response to the grand jury indictment including:

• A motion to dismiss based on what Schmid said was “the grand jury’s failure to include the names of the witnesses examined in the indictment.”

• A motion for a grand jury transcript.

Thursday morning Carbo Jr. made a court appearance via Zoom in front of Sixth District Judge Robert C. Friday.

Judge Friday ruled that there was cause to make the whole transcript available to the defense but denied the motion for dismissal, but reserved the right for Schmid to “renew the motion, again, upon further clarification to the law. We’re all sitting here very quickly trying to review all of this.”

A contested omnibus hearing was set for Carbo Jr. for 3:45 p.m. on May 11 at the Virginia courthouse.

The investigation into the more than 35-year-old cold case led authorities to Carbo after law enforcement said they matched DNA from his trash to compare to samples from the decades old crime scene.

Daugherty was found dead in her residence on July 16, 1986. Court records say the mother of two had been sexually assaulted and died of manual strangulation.

Carbo remains in the St. Louis County Jail and bail remains at $1 million.

At the time of his arrest, Carbo’s case was the first known in Minnesota to use the DNA database method to bring a suspect to court.

The tactic of using an online genealogy database to crack cold cases became popular after authorities made an arrest in the case of Joseph James DeAngelo, a.k.a. the Golden State Killer in 2018, who pleaded guilty to a number of murders dating back to 1975. He acknowledged more than 50 rapes that he was not charged with due to California’s statute of limitations. Genealogical testing has led to arrests in cases in various other states, including North Carolina and Pennsylvania, among others.

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