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Murder charges upgraded in U of M student's slaying

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HASTINGS, Minn. - A Dakota County grand jury has upgraded the murder charges against two people accused of killing University of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk.

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Shavelle Oscar Chavez-Nelson, 32, and Ashley Marie Conrade, 24, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder. They already had been charged with second-degree murder in Schunk's death; the new counts mean they're accused of planning the crime in advance and face a life sentence if convicted.

Schunk, 20, went missing early Sept. 22 after she went to a Burnsville bar with Chavez-Nelson and Conrade, according to prosecutors.

She was found dead eight days later in a ditch in rural Rice County, riddled with stab wounds.

Prosecutors say Chavez-Nelson and Conrade killed her at Conrade's Rosemount townhome, then dumped her body. The evidence against the pair includes Schunk's blood in the home and on items they tried to discard, including her clothing, according to court documents.

Chavez-Nelson is in prison in Stillwater for an unrelated gun conviction. Conrade is jailed in Dakota County with bail set at $2 million.

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