Murderer gets life in prison

The man charged with killing a former University student was sentenced in a separate murder.

by Nick Wicker

A jury on Wednesday found the alleged killer of University of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk guilty in a separate murder case after about two weeks of trial and two hours of deliberation.

Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, also known as Anthony Lee Nelson, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first- and second-degree murder of 23-year-old Palagor Obang Jobi, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

“This was a senseless and violent crime that claimed the life of a young man who had great potential and who will be greatly missed by his family,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. “The jury’s verdict served the interest of justice today.”

The verdict carries the sentence legally required for premeditated first-degree murder, Backstrom said.

“Quite often these types of cases go to sentencing immediately, which occurred today,” he said.

On Sept. 22, 2013 — the same day Schunk was allegedly killed — Nelson shot and killed Jobi after the two started fighting in the parking lot of Nina’s Grill in Burnsville, Minn.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Nelson, Jobi punched him once, before Nelson retaliated and shot him, fatally, eight times.

About a week after Jobi’s murder, Schunk’s body was recovered in a rural ditch.

Community Relations Director for the Dakota County Attorney’s Office Monica Jensen said the case’s prosecutor made a statement to the court on behalf of Jobi’s mother before the verdict was read Wednesday. 

Backstrom said Jobi’s mother sobbed as the prosecutor recalled Jobi as a good son, brother and friend who was missed by his young sisters. She then passed along the mother’s wishes to thank the police officers involved in the case, Jensen said.

Detective Dawn Johnson of the Burnsville Police Department, one of the case’s lead investigators, was present at the courtroom to hear the outcome, she said.

“That was nice for her to see it through to the verdict,” Jensen said.

Nelson also faces first- and second-degree murder charges in connection with the killing of University student Anarae Schunk. That trial is set for May.

Backstrom said Wednesday’s verdict will not affect the Schunk trial, and that the two court proceedings are completely separate.