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40-year sentence sought in murder trial

Prosecutors could seek a maximum prison sentence of 40 years for a Two Harbors man accused of murder.

The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office is seeking to have 42-year-old Raymond Charles Weeks sentenced as both a “career offender” and a “dangerous offender,” as defined by Minnesota statutes. If Weeks is convicted of his second-degree murder charge, a judge could depart from sentencing guidelines and impose a prison term up to the statutory maximum.

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Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Kristen Swanson filed the two notices last week in State District Court in Duluth. Prosecutors are required to notify the court before the resolution of a case if they intend to seek an aggravated sentence.

The notices also argue that an aggravated sentence is warranted because the crime “occurred in the victim’s zone of privacy.”

Weeks’ criminal record includes convictions for second-degree assault and third-degree assault with substantial bodily harm, according to online court records.

Weeks is accused of killing 54-year-old Duluth resident Kevin John Tyman on Dec. 21, 2012, at Tyman’s Central Hillside apartment. Tyman died as a result of a single stab wound to the right side of his abdomen, resulting in the laceration of his liver, police said.

Following a long police investigation, Weeks and 32-year-old Joella Lee Tucker were taken into custody on Nov. 14.

Tucker is charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder for her role in the incident.

Tucker allegedly told several people that Tyman, her former landlord, had sexually assaulted her sister and molested her son. One witness reported to police that he heard her say, “Ray is going to take care of it.”

Police said they were alerted to a possible sexual assault involving Tucker’s sister, but were unable to interview the woman to complete an investigation.

When brought in for a police interview in June 2013, Weeks immediately became defensive, calling himself a “shepherd and a protector of women and children,” before he was even informed of the purpose of the interview, authorities said.

Tucker is scheduled to appear in court for an omnibus hearing Monday; Weeks’ next appearance is set for March 5. Both cases have been assigned to Judge Mark Munger.