According to court documents Michael Swanson would travel to Iowa from Minnesota where he would shoot and kill Vicky Bowman-Hall. Swanson would then travel to another Iowa county where he would shoot and kill Sheila Myers
Michael Swanson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison
Michael Swanson would spend a few years in prison he would be charged in the attempted murder of a fellow prisoner. He would receive an additional twenty five years in prison. Swanson is eligible for parole in 2090, he will be 97 years old
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Michael Swanson Case
Michael Swanson, who killed two convenience store workers in 2010 and was convicted in 2011, will serve an additional 25 years after pleading guilty to attempted murder.
Swanson, 21, made the guilty plea Tuesday to slashing a fellow inmate with a knife at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.
A second inmate, Michael Ivester, 34, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in late October.
On Nov. 15, 2010, Swanson, then 17 years old, shot Sheila Myers at a Humboldt convenience store. Earlier in the evening, he shot Vicky Bowman-Hall at a convenience store in Algona.
Both women were survived by husbands and children
Michael Swanson was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery for killing Myers. He shot Myers in the face with a .40-caliber Beretta handgun and left the Kum & Go store with $31 and some cigarettes.
He received a life sentence for that murder.
Michael Swanson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree robbery for Bowman-Hall’s death.
He admitted during his plea hearing that he walked into the Crossroads convenience store on the night of her death armed and shot Bowman-Hall with the intention of killing her.
Michael Swanson received a life sentence for that murder.
In 2013, Gov. Terry Branstad commuted the life sentences of 38 Iowa inmates convicted as juveniles, including Swanson, to terms of 60 years in prison before they could be eligible for parole.
That order came following a 2012 United States Supreme Court ruling that threw out automatic life sentences for juveniles.
A re-sentencing hearing for Swanson has been continued indefinitely due to the attempted murder case, according to Iowa Courts Online.
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For nearly two hours Wednesday, Michael Swanson’s mother sobbed as she told a jury about 18 years of near-misses with a son who from the very beginning was never like other kids.
They knew something was wrong early on, Kathleen Swanson testified. From birth, the boy never slept and never stopped moving. She had to quit her St. Louis Park day-care business after she found Michael, still a toddler, preparing to jump on top of an infant lying on the floor.
He was only 11 when a psychiatrist told her that he was a lost cause and needed to be locked up. His grandmother, his aunt, even his own mother feared he was going to hurt them — and he usually admitted thinking about it, she said.
But always, it seemed, Swanson was caught before someone got hurt. Until Nov. 15, 2010.
“It all changed when I woke up that Monday,” she testified, her shoulders heaving as she described the morning she awoke to discover her Jeep, her debit cards and her very troubled 17-year-old son all missing. That night, Swanson drove from St. Louis Park to northern Minnesota to Iowa, where he allegedly shot and killed two convenience store clerks.
His mother’s testimony marked the third day of Swanson’s first-degree murder trial for the slaying of Humboldt, Iowa, clerk Sheila Myers, 61. He will be tried separately for the slaying of clerk Vicky Bowman-Hall, 47, of Algona, Iowa.
‘I felt powerful’
Kathleen Swanson was the first defense witness. The prosecution rested its case following the playing of a two-hour videotaped interview that the defendant gave Iowa criminal investigators shortly after the shootings.
In the video, Swanson’s calm demeanor struck a chilling contrast with his mother’s raw emotion on the stand. He described in an unaffected tone how Myers had given him cash before he shot her in the face from 2 feet away.
“I felt powerful. I just didn’t care,” he told Special Agent Mike Krapfl with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in the early morning hours of Nov. 16.
“My adrenaline was going good. I just felt like, ‘Well, sometimes people get shot.'”
He talked about how, after not sleeping for four days, he chose the Humboldt Kum & Go store to rob because Myers was the only person there. He put on his ski mask, packed a handgun and pointed it at her while setting the bag on the table. She put the money inside it, he said.
“Then I shot her,” said Swanson, now 18. “And I left. I just walked out.”
His voice on the videotape reflected little emotion, but he smiled and scratched his head when re-enacting the noise that Myers made when he shot her, a “half-scream, half-gasp.”
He shot her in the face, he said, because “it was final.”
“If I was just gonna shoot to injure, why would I shoot her at all?”
Years of pain, pleas for help
The slayings marked the culmination of years of attempts to get help for their son, Kathleen Swanson testified — psychiatric care, commitment, even time in a juvenile facility.
He’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and more. Incident after incident, he bounced between juvenile facilities and temporary inpatient psychiatric care. He was kicked out of the St. Cloud Children’s Home before his evaluation was complete, she testified.
As her husband, Robert, listened, Kathleen tearfully repeated the common refrain they used throughout their son’s youth: “What are we gonna do with this kid?”
When he went with an aunt to do community service at Pioneer Park in Annandale, he stole $250 from the nonprofit. The aunt demanded he return the money and apologize. Then after returning home, she found two of her deceased husband’s shotguns in the trunk of her car and a hatchet, baseball bat and handguns in the bed of her four-wheeler. She called Kathleen to pick him up immediately, fearing he was going to hurt her.
He admitted he was angry at her and was charged with felony gun theft following the incident. He spent 10 days in the Anoka County Juvenile Center in Lino Lakes before a judge ordered him to go home under his parents’ supervision in 2006.
The Swansons installed locks that required a key to get out from the inside, and Robert Swanson locked the boy’s clothes away. They gave their son a towel and safety pin to wear around the house.
“If he was gonna break a window and run away, he was going in a towel,” she said.
Hope, and then gone
By 2008, after more problems, a probation officer recommended Michael Swanson be sent away for six to nine months. After a second opinion from a psychiatrist, his mother agreed. They went to Hennepin County District Court, and at the last minute the probation officer changed his mind. Sometimes it was worse for a kid to take him out of his home, the probation officer told her.
Foreshadowing his alleged crime, in April 2010 Swanson stole his mother’s Jeep, credit cards and took one of the dogs south on Hwy. 169. When he ran out of money, he called home and asked them to pick him up in St. Joseph, Mo.
Suspecting her son was bipolar, she struggled to get him on medication. Doctors who diagnosed him while he was in custody wouldn’t, or couldn’t, help when he was home.
By July he was sentenced to the Hennepin County Home School, a residential treatment center for adolescent offenders. She was told he would receive treatment there, but she said he never did.
He came home in early November, and things looked up for a time. They enrolled him in a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota. He was working at Cub Foods and even going to church.
“We felt like we were hopeful,” she said.
Then he was gone.