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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Deer River man, Nason, charged with killing girlfriend, Smith

  • A Deer River man was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend.
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  • A Deer River man was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend.
    Eugene Nason, 50, is accused of killing Sonya Ann Smith, 43, on July 24, at their home on the 500 block of Fifth Street Southeast.
    Law enforcement officials responded to the house about 9 a.m. after a woman found Smith’s body in an overflowing bathtub. Her body bore lacerations and bruising on the face and neck, according to the criminal complaint.
    A medical examiner found that Smith died of multiple traumatic injuries, including a ruptured liver and spleen, broken ribs and cerebral hemorrhaging,
    Several neighbors told investigators they heard a scream around 4 a.m. that day. One neighbor reported calling law enforcement, and records show that the neighbor called the sheriff’s office at 4:24 a.m., the complaint said. The complaint doesn’t indicate if officers investigated that report.
    When contacted at work by investigators, Nason told them that he had spent the night at his sister’s.
    “Nason stated that he left their home because (Smith) was high from taking pills and told him that she was going to leave him because he sleeps all the time,” the complaint said.
    Nason told investigators that he was wearing the same clothes he had worn the day before, the complaint said. But in liquor store surveillance video from the evening before, he is wearing a T-shirt matching one found in his bathroom.
    An employee at a Deer River café told investigators that Nason spent about 20 minutes in the restroom around 7 a.m. July 24 and that “he left the restaurant looking like he had taken a shower in the bathroom,” the complaint said.
    Before Tuesday’s court appearance, Nason was being held without bail on a probation violation. The judge ordered him held with bond on the murder charge. Nason’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 9.

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