Hibbing man sentenced to 28 years for Iron Range woman’s murder

Blake Stangel
Blake Stangel(Northern News Now)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 1:06 PM CDT
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HIBBING, MN -- A Hibbing man will spend 28 years in prison for an Iron Range woman’s murder in 2017.

According to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Blake Stangel, 53, pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder and first-degree aggravated sale of a controlled substance in court Thursday.

Back in November 2017, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check at Courtney Fenske’s home.

They found the 71-year-old woman had died from asphyxia, strangulation, and smothering, according to court records.

Stangel was a former renter of Fenske.

It remained a cold case until 2021, when Stangel was picked up as a suspect on an unrelated charge.

Authorities then determined his DNA matched the sample taken at the scene of Fenske’s murder in 2017.

The 28-year sentence was part of a plea agreement; however, Stangel will face additional 7-11 years in prison for a first degree aggravated sale of a controlled substance charge.

That additional time is expected to be handed down at his sentencing, which has not been scheduled yet.