William Chase Hargrove of Corvallis is on trial in Benton County, Oregon, for the April 2017 murder of his fiancée, 27-year-old Anna Repkina
Investigators tracked down Hargrove, 29, who is accused of killing his 27-year-old Russian would-be bride in a twisted love triangle through a takeout receipt found near her body
Authorities identified Hargrove as the killer through a KFC takeout receipt found near where Repkina was found dead with a shotgun blast to the head in the Oregon woods
The receipt had the name of Hargrove’s friend, Kevin Thomas, who told police he had dinner with the suspect days before the murder and let him borrow his shotgun
Thomas’ story led investigators to uncover Hargrove’s ‘problematic love triangle’ with the victim and a married woman, Michelle Chavez
He allegedly lured Repkina from her native Russia to Oregon by promising to marry her one month before he killed her under pressure from Chavez
Prosecutors say t Chavez, gave Hargrove an ultimatum, forcing him to choose between his two lovers
However, Hargrove’s defense attorneys claim Michelle Chavez who had abandoned her marriage in anticipation of a future with the defendant, is responsible for the murder
Chavez is testifying as a key prosecution witness
An Oregon man on trial for the 2017 murder of his Russian mail order bride who got caught up in a love triangle involving another woman was identified by authorities through a KFC receipt near her body when it was found in the woods.
Anna Repkina, 27, was found dead of an apparent shotgun blast to the head on a secluded road outside of Alsea, a lumber town, on April 17, 2017.
There victim’s body had been stripped of any form of identification on her body – and the only lead detectives had at the start of the investigation was a name on the receipt inside a fast food takeout bag laying near the corpse. That name was Kevin Thomas.
When Thomas was interviewed by police, he said he’d shared a KFC dinner with his friend William Chase Hargrove days before Repkina’s body was found.
That tit-bit helped investigators uncover Hargrove’s complex love arrangement – a ‘problematic love triangle’ with the victim Anna Repkina, a 27-year-old woman whom he met online and allegedly lured halfway across the world, from the Russian capital Moscow, by promising marriage.
The promise of nuptials turned tragic however when he killed her less than a month after her arrival under pressure from a third woman, later identified as Michelle Chavez.
Kevin Thomas had told police that his friend asked to borrow his shotgun but never gave it back. The possible murder weapon was later recovered from Hargrove’s vehicle, and his cellphone data put him at the scene of the murder.
Prosecutors say the defendant murdered Repkina after Chavez, who had been involved with Hargrove before the victim arrived from Russia in March 2017, gave him an ultimatum, forcing him to choose between his two lovers.
Attorneys for Hargrove say that it was actually Chavez who killed Repkina in a fit of jealous rage.
‘Mr Hargrove has always maintained that he did not kill his fiancée,’ defense attorney Mike Flinn told The Washington Post on Sunday.
‘The evidence at trial will clearly show that Michelle Chavez murdered Anna Repkina.’
Chavez denied having anything to do with Repkina’s murder during her testimony last week ans she described her relationship with Hargrove.
She testified that the pair met at a bar where he worked as a bouncer. She was married to a professor at Oregon State University at the time, but her husband gave her permission to step outside their loveless marriage and start a relationship with Hargrove.
He soon began renting a room in Chavez’ home in Albany, which she shared with her husband and their two children.
While he was living there, Hargrove, who had an open relationship with Chavez, began chatting with Repkina online.
Anna who was born and raised in Moscow quickly fell in love with Hargrove. She traveled to Corvallis to meet him over Christmas in 2016 and decided to move there permanently three months later.
Muscovite Anna Repkina [photo], was killed after she allegedly was ensnared in a ‘problematic love triangle’ on arrival in the US with fiance William Hargrove and his married lover Michelle Chavez
Prosecutors in Benton County say William Hargrove [photo], murdered his fiancée Anna Repkina after Chavez, who had been involved with him before the victim arrived from Russia in March 2017, gave him an ultimatum, forcing him to choose between his two lovers
The prosecution case is that Anna Repkina was murdered by the man who professed love and promised marriage from half way across the world after allegedly ensnaring her in a ‘problematic love triangle’. The killing was induced by pressure from the third leg of the triangle, Michelle Chavez.
Repkina’s mother, Yelena, testifying at Hargrove’s trial and said she was worried about her daughter’s decision to move around the world for a man she barely knew.
‘I thought she was rushing things,’ Yelena said through an interpreter on the witness stand, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Chavez testified that initially she was not bothered by Hargrove’s relationship with Repkina, and that she even let the Russian beauty stay at her home during the Christmas visit.
She said she began to get jealous when Repkina moved to the US permanently and Chavez learned that they planned to get married. She then demanded Hargrove move out of her home and live elsewhere with Repkina, which he did.
Over the following few weeks he split his time between both women. He vowed to keep his marriage promise to Repkina while simultaneously insisting to Chavez that he was committed to her.
Chavez claims she believed Hargrove and agreed to leave her husband, even giving him her wedding ring as a symbol of how serious she was about their relationship.
Soon after, her hope for a future with Hargrove was shattered Chavez said, when she saw a Facebook post in which Repkina announced her engagement to Hargrove – with a photo of the bride-to-be flashing the ring she’d given Hargrove as a token.
Michelle Chavez, the other woman in the Oregon love triangle, testifies with a binder of text messages between Hargrove, the man in the middle, and herself. Hargrove’s defense team claim she shot Repkina
In anticipation of her impending marriage, Anna Repkina moved to Oregon from her native Moscow in March 2017 after meeting Hargrove online. Repkina and Hargrove scheduled the wedding for March 23, 2017, less than a month after she arrived from Russia.
The wedding dress and rings had already been picked out when Hargrove called the nuptials off at the last minute.
To Repkina, Hargrove blamed the cancellation on a no-show officiant. To Chavez, he said that he wasn’t in love with Repkina and was sending her back to Russia.
Three weeks later, Repkina was still living with Hargrove, so Chavez issued her ultimatum on April 15, according to a police affidavit obtained by the Gazette Times.
She allegedly Hargrove to ‘fix this’ and ‘get rid of her’, cryptically warning that if Repkina was ‘not gone by Thursday, I’m building a snowman’.
Hargrove, 29, was arrested for the crime a few days later, accused of murdering Repkina to resolve what prosecutors have described as a “problematic love triangle.”
On the witness stand, Chavez explained that ‘building a snowman’ was a family joke about killing someone and hiding the body inside a snowman somewhere cold enough that the snow would never melt.
Chavez insisted that it was a joke, while Hargrove’s attorney branded it a clear threat to kill Repkina.
The prosecution dismissed that argument by highlighting a later message in which Hargrove told Chavez: ‘I will have this solved permanently’ by April 19.
Prosecutors said Hargrove followed through with his promise the day after Chavez issued the ultimatum.
On the afternoon of April 16, 2017, he allegedly took Repkina into the woods and shot her in the head with the shotgun he had borrowed from Thomas, leaving her body face-up on a dead-end logging road.
He then called Chavez and met up with her for sex a few miles away, prosecutors said.
Anna Repkina’s body was found on a remote logging road near Alsea, a tiny logging town about 70 miles Corvallis, Oregon, on April 17, 2017. She had moved from Moscow to Corvallis a month earlier
Investigators arrested Hargrove three days after the murder through the story they heard from Thomas.
During his first police interview, Hargrove claimed that he barely knew Repkina and had only gone on two dates with her, according to police records.
He said he had tried to break things off with her after she announced that they were engaged on Facebook.
His story began to weaken when he was probed about the KFC meal with Thomas and claimed that he’d thrown away the takeout bag outside a general store in Alsea.
Detectives told him that couldn’t be true, at which point he stopped cooperating and said: ‘I want a lawyer.’
He was charged with first-degree murder soon after, along with theft and identity theft for allegedly transferring money from Repkina’s bank account into his own and taking her identifying documents.
The trial is expected to continue through the end of November.