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‘We knew it was coming’: Man charged with murder of ex-girlfriend days after pleading guilty to domestic abuse and getting out of jail


Left: Matthew Brenneman (via Hennepin County (Minn.) Sheriff). Right: Danicka Marie Bergeson (via

A man is facing murder charges for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend days after being released from jail for previous assaults against her.

Matthew Brenneman, 39, is behind bars in Hennepin County, Minnesota, according to sheriff’s department records. He has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Danicka Bergeson, who was found dead in her apartment on July 8. According to a criminal complaint, Bergeson was discovered in her bed, wrapped in blankets and a plastic garbage bag, covered in abrasions and bruising; she is believed to have been dead for at least a day.

Police found Brenneman in the apartment as well, reportedly having swallowed bleach in an attempt to take his own life, according to local Fox affiliate KMSP.

Eleven days earlier, on June 27, Brenneman had been released from jail after pleading guilty to abusing Bergeson, Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE reported. Brenneman had faced two charges of domestic assault by strangulation, one charge of threats of violence against Bergeson, and a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

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According to KARE, Brenneman was charged in April with striking and biting Bergeson. At the time, he reportedly told police that he was so drunk that he didn’t know what happened. He was released from jail the next day, the station reported.

He allegedly assaulted Bergeson again in May, according to KARE. This time, he allegedly struck, bit, choked, and threatened to kill her, the report said, citing a criminal complaint against Brenneman.

He had reportedly pleaded guilty in both cases and, as part of his plea deal, was released from jail pending sentencing, which had been scheduled for August.

Bergeson’s family members told the station they had long feared for their loved one’s life.

“We often said we would dread this call because we almost felt we knew it was coming at some point because it repeated itself over and over,” Bergeson’s father, David Bergeson, said, according to KARE.

Read the criminal complaint, below.

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