Defendant skips out on rural Minnesota murder trial, may be in Twin Cities with handgun, rifle

Anyone who encounters him or knows his whereabouts is urged to call 911

Ralph Apmann, 58, the defendant in a Windom, Minnesota, murder case, was a fugitive and considered armed and dangerous after authorities say he failed to appear for his trial on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
Contributed / Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

ST. PAUL — Authorities are searching for a southwestern Minnesota homicide suspect who failed to appear at his murder trial Monday, Feb. 13, and was believed to be headed toward the Twin Cities.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Ralph Apmann should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who encounters him or knows his whereabouts is urged to call 911.

Apmann, 58, is the suspect in an August 2021 homicide outside the Phat Pheasant Pub in Windom. According to second-degree murder charges filed in Cottonwood County District Court, Apmann allegedly put Juan Morales-Rivera in fatal chokehold following a dispute at the bar.

On Monday morning, Apmann failed to appear for his trial at the Cottonwood County Courthouse in Windom. He had previously posted $150,000 bail after being charged.

The Cottonwood County Citizen reported that jurors heard testimony Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The prosecution rested its case Friday, and the defense was to begin its case Monday.


The newspaper reported that local schools were initially put on a “soft” lockdown Monday as Windom police investigated Apmann’s whereabouts.

According to the BCA, Apmann is believed to be armed with a 9-mm handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

He is white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 230 pounds, and has hazel eyes and balding gray hair.

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