Southern Minnesota man agrees to 6½-year term for strangling his girlfriend as part of suicide pact

A southern Minnesota man has agreed to a sentence of about 6½ years for the strangulation of his girlfriend as part of a suicide pact.

Casey D. Narvaez, 39, of Sleepy Eye, agreed in Nicollet County District Court last week to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 35-year-old Kayla Hulsey on Oct. 26 in Ridgely Township. The agreement also calls for second-degree intentional murder and aiding suicide charges to be dismissed.

The formal sentencing of Narvaez is scheduled for May 6. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Narvaez can expect to serve slightly more than four years of his term in prison and the balance on supervised release.

An autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office found that Hulsey died from asphyxia from being strangled with a ligature made of cable ties.

According to the charges:

Narvaez called 911 shortly before 1 a.m. from a boat landing and referenced something not working, and he wondered why he was still alive.

Police soon arrived to find Narvaez standing outside an SUV with cable ties around his neck and Hulsey's body in the vehicle. She also had cable ties around her neck. Police also saw dryer vent tubing attached to the SUV's exhaust pipe.

Narvaez met investigators at the hospital a few hours later and said he and his live-in girlfriend both agreed to die by suicide.

The investigators saw the cable ties "were very tight" around Hulsey's neck and confronted Narvaez. He explained that Hulsey wanted his help to make the ligature tighter. He did so, despite knowing that his actions "would cause [Hulsey's] death, and he wanted to help [her] die," the charges read.

Narvaez added that he waited 30 minutes after Hulsey fell unresponsive before calling 911.

Where to find help

Families can find mental health information and resources for crisis care on NAMI Minnesota's website, namimn.org. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor.