Minnesota dad told landlord he 'already dug a hole' before executing daughter's boyfriend for suspected abuse

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A Minnesota father was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday for the brutal murder of his daughter's allegedly abusive boyfriend after telling a witness he had "already dug a hole" for the man's grave. 

Michael Lee Laflex, 46, was found guilty on one count of first-degree premeditated murder and another of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Bryce Brogle in April, according to court records reviewed by Fox News Digital. In addition to his sentence, he was ordered to pay $14,596.08 in restitution and court fees by Crow Wing County District Court Judge Charles D. Halverson.

Laflex's daughter reported her boyfriend missing to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 28, 2022, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Law & Crime. Her boyfriend was last seen accompanying her father to a storage unit that Laflex had rented two days earlier. 

Laflex was interviewed by investigators and initially claimed that Brogle had been placed under arrest by "unknown law enforcement" who confiscated his two cell phones, per the complaint. He later changed his story, saying that he had thrown both of the phones out at a gas station in Brainerd. Both phones were eventually recovered by police. 

The landlord of the home rented by Brogle and Laflex's daughter contacted investigators, telling them that Laflex had called him to ask if Brogle had ever hurt his daughter.

"The landlord shared that the landlord had seen [Laflex’s daughter] with two black eyes," the complaint states. "(Laflex) then said he was going to kill Brogle and had already dug the hole."

Another witness came forward to the police with information that had been relayed to them by one of Laflex's family members. Laflex had shot Brogle at the Ossipee-area storage unit on Oct. 26, 2022, that witness said in their sworn statement. 

"The details included but were not limited to that Michael (Laflex) believed Brogle had been abusing his daughter," read the statement, per Law & Crime. "Laflex was said to have cleaned up the unit using bleach. Laflex further informed the family member that he had disposed of the body and Brogle would not be found as it had been buried. It was said some sort of sled was used to move Brogle’s body at one point."

When they executed a search warrant on the storage unit, police wrote, they found blood that someone had attempted to clean with bleach on the concrete floor. Marks on the ground were "consistent with something being dragged across the floor in a similar width to a sled," according to the complaint.

Authorities identified Brogle's possible gravesite in an Oct. 30, 2022 foot search, according to the complaint.

"The site was excavated and a body with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head was recovered and transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy," the complaint states. "The autopsy determined the cause of death to be a distant gunshot wound to the back of the head. The body has been identified as Bryce Brogle."

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