Eagan woman held in St. Cloud murder

Cheryl Oby Albert
   An Eagan woman is being held on $2 million bail in a Benton County jail in connection with a 2015 murder in St. Cloud.
   Cheryl Oby Albert, 24, of 3575 Lexington Ave. #419, is scheduled to appear in Benton County District Court Sept. 5 on two counts of second-degree murder and a single count of third-degree murder, according to court records. She was extradited to Minnesota following her arrest at the Los Angeles airport in July.
    Albert is accused of the June 9, 2015, killing of 37-year-old Keletigui Keita, the owner of the Kilimandjaro Market, an African grocery store in St. Cloud. Keita, reported to be a habitual client of the Eagan prostitute, was found shot dead in his St. Cloud apartment. Several items, including an iPhone, a computer, watches, and coins, were missing from his apartment.
   Investigators claim Albert had a history of stealing from clients. The victim’s watches were later found in a pick-up truck driven by a man believed to be Albert’s pimp.
    Albert was sentenced to 3 years probation in Dakota County in August 2015 following a felony conviction on a dishonored check charge, according to court records. The criminal complaint alleged Albert had written three checks on a closed account totaling nearly $1,000 to local grocery stores. Her probation, scheduled to expire Aug. 18, 2018, includes several conditions, such as paying restitution and remaining law-abiding.
   In addition to the dishonored check charge, Albert has two prior misdemeanor prostitution convictions from Hennepin County in 2014 and 2015, according to court records. She also has two convictions for operating a motor vehicle after license suspension in Stearns and Otter Tail counties.

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Sun sets over football practice at a local park
Suspect charged in stolen credit card retail spree
     A St. Paul woman is scheduled to appear in Dakota County District Court Oct. 30 on a felony financial fraud charge linked to a series of vehicle thefts in Lakeville and Scott County.
     Kelly Ann Gambino, 26, of 929 Thomas Avenue, St. Paul, was charged with a felony in connection with nearly $5,300 in fraudulent transactions at area stores during February and March. Gambino was charged after an employee of an Eagan business identified her as the person who paid for services with a gift card bought with a stolen credit card from a Sam’s Club in Apple Valley.
     After the suspect was identified, police obtained a search warrant for her phone data, according to court records. That data linked her to the area of a Scott County dog park where one victim’s car had been broken into on March 22. The victim’s credit cards were stolen during that break-in and used at several stores in Apple Valley. The thief racked up more than $3,000 in credit card purchases at stores in Apple Valley within an hour of the car break-in before the card was eventually declined at a third store, according to court records.
     Police also executed a search warrant at Gambino’s home on June 7, according to court records. Police found an air purifier linked to one of the fraudulent transactions during the search.  A Lakeville detective at that time recognized her from security video from a Burnsville store where nearly $1,300 had been charged to a credit card stolen from a car in the parking lot of the Lakeville Lifetime Fitness.  

Farmington mother accused of neglect

   A mother is facing a charge of child neglect after a neighbor found her 2-year-old in the road.
   Rheanna Demarais, 25, of 19384 Ellington Trail, Farmington, is scheduled to appear in Dakota County district court Nov. 20 on a gross misdemeanor charge of child neglect, according to court records.
   Demarais lived in Burnsville when police were called to a neighborhood on a report of a 2-year-old found in the road shortly before 1:30 p.m. May 6. The neighbor brought the child home but called police after a person lying on the couch did not respond.
   When police went to the house, according to court records, the mother was lying on the couch with a can of beer nearby. Officers had to yell several times before Demarais woke up. A breath test indicated an alcohol level of .143, according to the criminal complaint.

Five join school board race

   Five candidates have filed papers to run against three incumbent District 196 school board members in the November election, according to the secretary of state’s office.
   The eight candidates for the Nov. 7, 2017 School Board election are incumbents Art Coulson of Apple Valley, Gary Huusko of Eagan and Mike Roseen of Apple Valley, and challengers Craig Angrimson of Apple Valley, Brian Buechele of Lakeville, Rebecca Gierok of Apple Valley, and Daniel O'Neil and Bianca Ward Virnig, both of Eagan.
   The terms of Coulson, Huusko and Roseen expire Jan. 1, 2018. The new terms for all three at-large positions run from January 2018 to January 2022.