Image courtesy Kandiyohi County jail

Algene Vossen will not stand trial for the 1974 murder of Mae Herman of Willmar.

Vossen, 81 of Sioux Falls, has been ordered committed to a memory care facility for the rest of his life by Judge Stephen Wentzell. In November of 2021, Wentzell ruled that Vossen was not mentally competent to stand trial for 2nd Degree Murder, and ordered him released to the custody of his Niece in Des Moines Iowa.

The Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office appealed, lost, and then asked that Vossen be civilly committed to a mental health facility until, or if, he is ever able to stand trial. On Thursday, Wentzell ruled Vossen be committed to a memory care center for the rest of his life. Vossen suffers from dementia and according to his attorney his mental health has continued to deteriorate over the past two years. Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt says he had hoped Vossen would be convicted of the murder and give closure to Herman’s family.

In the past Vossen’s Attorney Kent Marshall has said his client needs to be under some sort of professional care.

Vossen was originally questioned after the January 1974 stabbing death of Herman but not arrested. Shortly afterward he moved out of state. In July of 2020 a cold case unit found out Vossen was in Sioux Falls and matched his DNA with DNA left at the murder scene, and he was arrested.

But throughout his court proceedings he displayed confusion and memory loss, leading to Wentzell ruling he was not competent to participate in his own defense at a criminal trial. In June a review hearing takes place, and the judge has not yet decided what memory care Vossen will be taken to.

(JP Cola, KWLM)