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Person of interest in south Fargo homicide case still behind bars, no charges imminent

FARGO -- Police say they don't expect charges to be filed anytime soon against a man considered a person of interest in last week's homicide of a Fargo woman.

Landon Lauwagie
Landon Lauwagie

FARGO -- Police say they don't expect charges to be filed anytime soon against a man considered a person of interest in last week's homicide of a Fargo woman.

The person of interest, 22-year-old Landon Lauwagie, is being held in a southern Minnesota jail on an alleged probation violation from an unrelated case. And it's not anticipated he'll be freed in the near future, said Assistant Sibley County Attorney Donald Lannoye.

Lauwagie has a hearing Thursday, May 26, in Sibley County District Court where he's expected to either admit or deny violating his probation. If he denies the allegations, then an evidentiary hearing likely would take place in two weeks, and prosecutors would have to prove he violated his probation, Lannoye said.

If Lauwagie admits or is found to have violated his probation, it's not certain what punishment he would face. His probation officer has recommended he serve 90 days in jail and be put back on probation, Lannoye said.

A judge has ordered Lauwagie to be held without bail while the probation violation matter is sorted out. Lannoye said he requested no bail because he believes Lauwagie poses a flight risk as a person of interest in the homicide of 40-year-old Cory Terlecky.

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Terlecky was found dead in her south Fargo home on May 15. Authorities in Sibley County, which is about 60 miles southwest of Minneapolis, arrested Lauwagie the next day on the alleged probation violation. Lannoye said Lauwagie has relatives in Sibley County and attended high school there.

Fargo detectives went to the Sibley County Jail to interview Lauwagie, but he invoked his right to remain silent and requested an attorney. Deputy Chief Joe Anderson, a Fargo police spokesman, said detectives have not yet been able to question Lauwagie with an attorney present.

Anderson said he does not expect that prosecutors will soon file charges against Lauwagie or anyone else in connection with Terlecky's death.

An autopsy confirmed that Terlecky's death was a homicide, but detectives are not disclosing her specific cause of death to avoid jeopardizing their investigation, police said.

While police suspect that Lauwagie and Terlecky knew each other, Anderson declined to discuss the nature of their relationship or say why investigators consider Lauwagie a person of interest. The deputy chief said police do not know the motive behind the killing.

Lannoye said Lauwagie is accused of violating his probation by leaving Minnesota without permission to visit North Dakota and by not keeping in touch with his probation officer.

Public defender Tiffany Doherty-Schooler has been assigned to represent Lauwagie in Sibley County. A phone message left for her was not returned.

Lauwagie started serving three years of supervised probation after he was convicted in January of a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle in Sibley County. Along with probation, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

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