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Suspect enters guilty plea in Cloquet murder case

Wayne Joseph Bosto

A Duluth man pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of second-degree murder, admitting in court that he was the one who fatally shot a man at a home in Cloquet last December.

Wayne Joseph Bosto, 34, faces more than 35 years in prison after entering the guilty plea Friday afternoon in State District Court in Carlton in the fatal shooting of 36-year-old John Francis Korby.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm was dismissed.

Bosto had faced up to 40 years in prison on the murder charge. The plea agreement carries a sentence of 426 months.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Boucher told Judge Robert Macaulay in court Friday that Korby’s family was unable to be at the plea hearing, but were aware of the plea deal and agreed with it.

During the hearing, public defender Kevin Cornwell asked Bosto if he indeed had been at the house on Dec. 23 and shot Korby first in the body and then in the head with a pistol. Bosto answered yes.

After Cornwell was finished, Boucher asked Bosto similar questions. Boucher asked Bosto if he shot Korby with the intent to kill him, again Bosto answered yes.

Macaulay said the court accepted the guilty plea and that there would be a presentence investigation. Bosto, who remains in custody at the Carlton County Jail, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 31.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the Cloquet Police Department, Bosto, Korby and two others arrived at 1787 Wolf Ridge Road in Cloquet on the morning of Dec. 23. A man and woman were already there.

Police said after retreating to a back room for a period of time, the two others left, leaving Bosto, Kirby, and the man and woman who were there when they arrived. The man and woman recalled hearing five gunshots, according to the complaint, and when one of them went to the part of the house where shots had been fired, they “witnessed (Bosto) standing over Kirby holding a pistol. The witness saw (Bosto) point the gun at Korby’s head and fire.”

Bosto remained in the home for a short time before leaving on foot with the pistol. A responding officer saw him walking down Brevator Road near Jarvi Road, which was a short distance from the home where the shooting occurred. The officer recognized Bosto and ordered him to the ground, where the officer noticed the pistol sticking out of Bosto’s waistband. Bosto was taken into custody. Officers found Korby “conscious but unable to speak” when they arrived at the residence, the complaint said.

Korby had been shot three times in the leg, once in the forearm and once in the head, which was the shot that caused his death. He died at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth about an hour after police were called to the scene, according to authorities.

Nothing in the complaint sheds light on a motive for the killing.

Korby's obituary said he liked to bead and spend time with his six children. He participated in pool tournaments, and "is fondly remembered as a loving dad, and a jokester who loved to kid around." He graduated from AlBrook High School in 1999 and went on to work at Black Bear Casino and various construction jobs.