01/10/2013 11:19 am ET

Carl Muggli Kills Wife Linda With Totem Pole In Minnesota

A Minnesota man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing his wife by pushing a totem pole onto her.

Carl Muggli, now 51, and Linda Muggli, 61, had been married for 24 years and ran a totem pole-carving business together near Voyageurs National Park, Minn. In November 2010, Linda Muggli was found lying in a pool of blood in the couple's garage and died in the hospital later that day, City Pages reported.

Her husband told authorities the two had been carving a 700-pound totem pole together when it unexpectedly came loose from its supports and fell on top of Linda.

Everyone believed him, until an anonymous source came forward and told authorities that the Mugglis were fighting over a divorce, and that Carl had been having an affair prior to his wife's death. Deputies searched his computer and found a series of romantic exchanges -- the transcripts of which can be seen on the Daily Mail -- between Carl and a woman who lived in Alabama.

The messages, and Carl Muggli's emails, indicate that he was seeking to rent a "country home" for himself and his mistress. He also mentions that he is going through a divorce.

Carl Muggli had originally been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder, the Star Tribune reported, but on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder.

Defense attorney Charles Hawkins, who called the incident a "tragic occurrence," said his client entered the guilty plea because "he did not want to put the family, his family or himself through any more misery."

The website for the Mugglis' totem pole business states that Linda Muggli "passed while doing what she loved."



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