Man Charged in Babbitt Homicide

Updated: 01/16/2014 6:33 PM
Created: 01/16/2014 6:18 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

A Babbitt man has been charged in the death of his mother's boyfriend. Shawn Russel Doherty, 24, faces one count of second degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint, Doherty strangled John Paul Bulen, 55, and then left his body in the street. He allegedly told officers that he did it for his grandpa.

On Monday, Babbitt Police responded to 37 Astor Road and found an unconscious man lying in the road, wearing only underwear and a t-shirt.

John Bulen, of Mahtomedi, Minn., was later pronounced dead.

His girlfriend's son is now charged with his murder. According to the criminal complaint, Shawn Doherty allegedly told an officer, "I did it for my grandpa, I put him in the dirt."

Court documents said the defendant's mother, Lynda Doherty, was running errands at the time of the incident, but before she left Bulen asked her to lock the bedroom door because he was afraid of her son.

The complaint said Lynda Doherty also told officers the night before her son kept entering her bedroom and waking her up, and at one point he said, "This guy is getting between us. I'm going to kill him." She said she didn't think much of the statement.

When Lynda Doherty arrived home, police were already in the neighborhood. When she went inside her home, the complaint said she found blood and screamed for help.

Upstairs, officers found the bedroom door forced open. In the bathroom they found the defendant lying naked in the fetal position in the bath tub. The complaint said he was shaking and appeared confused.

The maximum sentence for second degree murder is 40 years. Based on the nature of the crime, the State said they will seek a tougher sentence.

Front Page

  • Duluth Adds 2,200 Students: Move-In Day for UMD

    The population in Duluth went up a couple of thousand on Thursday, as the freshman class at UMD moved into the dorms.

  • Incoming UWS Freshmen Carry the Comforts of Home

    Incoming freshmen moved into their dorms at the University of Wisconsin Superior on Thursday. The new college students were carrying all of their belongings, including a lot of technology that hasn't always been so common on a college campus.

  • Getting Kids Ready to Go Back to School

    Like it or not, the new school year is just around the corner. After three months of late nights, sleeping in, snacking, and tons of fun, transitioning back to the school year can be tough. Eyewitness News learned a few tips that can ease the change.

  • St. Paul Think Tank Releases Report on Minnesota School Spending

    Minnesota 2020, a progressive St. Paul-based think tank, released a new report on Thursday. They gathered financial data from Minnesota schools from the previous 10 years, looking at spending in schools. They held a press conference on Thursday calling for a shift in focus from testing to "enriching courses."

  • Duluth-Superior Pride Weekend Kicks Off

    The events will run from Thursday until Sunday  with a fan favorite, Pride Festival in the Park, taking place on Saturday at Bayfront Festival Park. Many of these events and activities are free of charge and family friendly.