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Cell Phone Helps Detectives Find Murder Suspect

January 12, 2010, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Cell Phone Helps Detectives Find Murder Suspect
KELOLAND News has new details surrounding the death of 19-year-old Michael Stevens, and the arrest of 18-year-old Samuel Lint. Court papers indicate the two young men knew each other, and drugs may be at the center of the murder.

Five pages of court papers spell out what investigators say led to the shooting death of Michael Stevens and what led to the arrest of Samuel Lint 12 days later.

The papers paint a better picture of the crime scene at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. Along with Stevens' body, investigators found a 20-gauge shotgun shell casing just outside of Stevens' car, and a pipe detectives say is commonly used to smoke drugs was found on the victim.

But Stevens' cell phone, left plugged into a charger, provided the information that led investigators to Lint. They traced calls to Lint and his girlfriend Kaylee and then used Kaylee's cell phone signal to find them in the Milford, Iowa area. That's where investigators originally interviewed Lint. He told detectives that he, Stevens and several others had gotten together at a home on December 29, and smoked marijuana.

But when detectives interviewed those other people, they gave a different story, saying Lint and Stevens were only at that home for a short time.

When they talked to Lint for a second time, his story changed and he admitted to being in a vehicle with Stevens and a third person known only as "Panda". From then on, his story wavered. He said Stevens had told him to get out of the car, and at other times, said he got out of the car because he had ripped off Stevens of some marijuana during a drug deal.

But investigators got the information they needed on Sunday when they talked to Lint's girlfriend, Kaylee, again. She said Lint admitted to her that he shot Stevens after Stevens felt the sawed-off shotgun under his coat and that he then buried it in a snow bank at the fairgrounds. And, investigators were able to confirm Lint was in the area of the Fairgrounds just before three AM on the day Stevens was shot because he came across a Sioux Falls police officer and was captured on the car's dash camera.

Detectives have also searched the Milford Iowa area where they were told Lint had gotten rid of a coat, gloves and other items. Detectives have recovered seven 20-gauge shotgun shells, including two that were spent and are similar to the one found next to Stevens' vehicle.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead says Stevens' was shot three times by a 20-gauge shotgun.

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