New Hope man convicted of murdering girlfriend

Agavel New Hope man was convicted Nov. 6 for strangling his girlfriend in their apartment last year.

Douglas Carl Manney, 51, had been charged with second-degree unintentional murder in connection with the June 5, 2011, strangling death of 40-year-old Kristeen Sandeen. A jury took five hours to reach its verdict, and he will be sentenced Dec. 5. Sentencing guidelines call for 12 years in prison, but allow up to 15, which is what prosecutors are requesting.

According to a criminal complaint, New Hope Police were called to an apartment building on the 6000 block of West Broadway at 11:10 a.m. June 5, regarding an unconscious female. Responding officers found Sandeen in the living room.

Sandeen’s sister told officers that Manney, Kristeen Sandeen’s boyfriend, had called her at 11:04 a.m. and said that Sandeen was unconscious and that “he did not know if she was dead or alive.” He told the sister that she might want to call 911, but that he was leaving the apartment.

Officers then learned that Sandeen had called New Hope Police officers to her apartment at 7:30 p.m. the night before. Upon arrival, the officers noted that she appeared intoxicated, but she was very verbal and vocal. Sandeen showed no sign of injury at that time, the complaint said.

Manney, who lived with Sandeen, claimed that the she had assaulted him, but he did not want to press charges. He agreed to leave, and officers took him to a hotel.

According to motel records and the hotel desk clerk, Manney left the hotel just before 10 a.m. June 5. Taxi records indicate that he took a cab back to Sandeen’s apartment.

Manney told police that he had been in an eight-year relationship with Sandeen. They had lived together for four years, and he described the relationship as “volatile.” Police officers learned that Sandeen was alive at 5 a.m. June 5, when she called her boss to say she would not be coming into work that day.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner found that the thyroid cartilage on both sides of Sandeen’s neck was fractured and bleeding, and the hyoid bone was fractured on the right side of her neck.

The hyoid bone is a horseshoe-shaped bone situated in the anterior midline of the neck between the chin and the thyroid.

She also suffered bruises on her left cheek and ear, right cheek, left and right sides of her clavicle, right shoulder, right arm, right wrist, left side of her neck and jaw, back of her head and the back of her neck, in addition to scrapes and scratches to her arms and knees.

After investigators confronted Manney with the medical examiner’s information, he acknowledged that he had assaulted Sandeen. He told police that he was unsure how long he squeezed her neck because they had been going at it “pretty hard,” the complaint concluded.

During the trial, Manney’s attorney argued that someone else had entered the apartment between 5 and 11 a.m. Prosecution witnesses, including two ex-wives, testified that he had choked both of them and had previously assaulted Sandeen.