Man found guilty of charges stemming from dismemberment of St. Paul man

Following a weekslong jury trial, state officials say Robert Thomas West has been found guilty of both charges filed against him in a case involving the dismemberment of a St. Paul man in June of 2021. According to court records, the 42-year-old West was found guilty Wednesday of one count of interference with a dead body or scene of a death and one count of being an accomplice after the fact to murder. His trial began on Jan. 24.

West was charged following the death of Ricky Balsimo, who was killed in St. Paul and then moved to Superior, Wis., according to prosecutors, who allege his body was put in several buckets and a tote before being taken to Grand Portage, Minn.

Prosecutors say West was responsible for dumping the buckets and tote containing Balsimo’s body into Lake Superior.

Balsimo was last seen on June 20, 2021. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said dive teams located his remains off the shore of Grand Portage on July 15.

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West, according to a criminal complaint, admitted to police he came up with the plan for disposing of Balsimo’s body and helped to dismember him.

According to Hubbard Broadcasting sister-station, KSTP, Tommi Hintz of Duluth entered a guilty plea last summer to a charge of being an accomplice after the fact to murder for her role in the case. She is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Another person charged in the case, Jacob Colt Johnson, is charged with second-degree murder for Balsimo’s death. His trial is also going to be held in Cook County and is scheduled to begin in July; however, he has an omnibus hearing scheduled for late March.

A sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled as of this time, according to an online court register. However, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office says West is also facing charges in Wisconsin for discarding the handgun used to kill Balsimo into Lake Superior, mutilating a corpse as a party to a crime, possession of a firearm and harboring/aiding a felon.

Court records in Wisconsin show an arrest warrant for West was issued in December of 2021, and a request was filed last July.