Moorhead man accused of killing half-brother

Douglas Swenson told officers who knocked on his door that everything was “good” and that his brother was sleeping inside, according to a criminal complaint.

Douglas James Swenson II.
Clay County Jail photo

MOORHEAD — A Moorhead man is charged with murder after police alleged he killed his half-brother Thursday night, March 9, at an apartment.

Douglas James Swenson II, 25, appeared Monday in Clay County District Court on a second-degree felony count of murder. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the charge that alleges the killing was not premeditated.

The Moorhead Police Department identified the deceased man as Dustin Momerak, Swenson's half-brother. Momerak and Swenson were living together at the time of his death.

Momerak died of "multiple sharp and blunt force injuries," police said Monday in a news release. Officers continue to investigate the death, but they aren't seeking any further suspects, police said. Police said they believe there is no threat to the public.

Police responded at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday to Swenson’s apartment in the 3300 block of 12th Street South for a report of a disturbance. A caller told dispatchers that men were yelling in the apartment, and one said, “You deserve to die,” according to a criminal complaint.


An officer heard a thud come from the apartment then music, the complaint said. Swenson told officers who knocked on his door that everything was “good” and that his brother was sleeping inside, according to the complaint.

3102023-Southview Apartments Homicide.3.jpg
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting in the investigation of a homicide in Moorhead. Police officers discovered the death on March 9, 2023, at 3302 12th St. S.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

Officers asked if they could come inside, but Swenson became upset before opening the door, the complaint said. He was not wearing any clothes and had blood on his hands and feet, police said in the complaint.

Swenson made comments about killing “him,” the complaint said. He stepped out of the apartment and initially followed commands to lie on the ground, but he became angry, jumped up and began yelling, the complaint said. Officers used a stun gun to take Swenson into custody, according to police.

As officers entered the apartment, Swenson said, "You're not going to be able to save him," the complaint said.

In the apartment, police found Momerak face down in the living room, as well as blood-soaked clothes that Swenson was seen in Hornbacher’s grocery store surveillance video wearing early Thursday evening, the complaint said.


An autopsy revealed several broken bones in Momerak's face, a skull fracture and broken ribs, according to the complaint. He also had sharp force injuries to his neck, the complaint said.

Swenson is being held at the Clay County Jail. An attorney was not listed for him in court records as of Monday.

Judge Jade Rosenfeldt set Swenson's bail at $2 million.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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