Michael Carbo sentenced to life in decades-old Chisholm murder

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HIBBING, Minn. – Many people have asked Gina Haggard if she feels a sense of closure now that Michael Allen Carbo, Jr. has been convicted of murdering her mother, Nancy Daugherty – a finale she has pursued for decades.

“Partially,” she told the court Friday afternoon in a crowded St. Louis County courtroom. “At least I know who, but I’ll never know why.”

Carbo, 54, was sentenced to life at the hearing, but he can seek parole after 17 years based on sentencing guidelines from 1986, when Daugherty was murdered. He has already served more than two years in St. Louis County Jail. Defense attorney JD Schmid, who filed a motion for a new trial, argued that the court erred in not allowing Carbo to pursue another defense against the author.

Judge Robert Friday supported the jury’s decision.

Daugherty has been dead for more years than she spent as a mother, Haggard said in her victim impact statement. She listed the milestones they hadn’t shared: weddings, births, drinking around bonfires. She remembered her mother setting out sparkling water and a can of tuna for her on prom night – a substitute for champagne and caviar.

The years also scared Haggard, who had just graduated high school and moved to suburban Minneapolis when she heard the news of her mother’s murder.

“If someone rapes and kills your mother, that makes it something that can happen to you,” she said. “I had to look suspiciously at everyone for my self-preservation.”

Carbo was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in mid-August, 36 years after Nancy Daugherty, 38, was discovered dead at her Chisholm home. The mother-of-two had gone out with a friend the night before, then went unanswered to knocks or phone calls when he returned the next morning to help her move some of her belongings into storage.

There were signs of a struggle in his yard – with his house keys thrown away and his vomit which was later linked to Carbo. She was found naked in her bed, the victim of manual strangulation and sexual assault.

The search for the killer spanned decades and over 100 suspects were considered – a list that never included Carbo.

Haggard read a statement from his brother Jason Larsen, who said he would forever celebrate his own freedom knowing that Carbo was incarcerated.

“I won’t waste any more time with him,” Larsen said in his statement.

In 2020, Chisholm Police Chief Vern Manner contacted a company that had successfully used public genealogy databases to find family matches. Investigators were able to link Carbo to DNA samples found at the crime scene and in Daugherty’s body. His was the only DNA, aside from Daugherty’s, found at the scene.

Carbo was entering his final year at Chisholm High School at the time of the murder – around the same time his family moved in next door to then-Chief of Police Bob Silvestri. He was arrested in 2020 and served two years in St. Louis County Jail before trial, despite letters of support from at least two dozen friends and family who asked for lenient bail. and insisted he was not a threat to the community.

Carbo’s defense was that he had sex with Daugherty the night he died but did not kill her.

Carbo spoke in court for the first time during the hearing. He maintained his innocence in a prepared statement.

“To the children and family of Nancy Daugherty, I did not kill Nancy,” he said. “I obviously had sex with her, and I don’t remember.”

There was little response to the sentencing in the courtroom. Family members and the media testified before Carbo and his attorneys. Gina and Dave Haggard spent decades defending Nancy Daugherty, but they’re still unstable.

“The part that’s unresolved hasn’t been resolved,” Haggard said after the hearing. “It’s always there to hang out.”

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