Murder conspirator admits guilt in previous assault case

Published 7:00pm Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Kenyon man in the midst of conspiracy to commit murder case has pleaded guilty to burglary and assault in a January 2012 case in which he attacked his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend.

Jesse Allen Helgeson, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon Friday in Mower County Court.

In Helgeson’s Jan. 6, 2012, case, police say he went to the 800 block of Ninth Avenue Northwest in Austin and assaulted his ex-girlfriends’ boyfriend. Helgeson allegedly jumped on top of the man and hit him over the head several times with a flashlight. He was later arrested in Dexter.

In the other case, Helgeson admitted he was guilty of felony conspiracy to commit first-degree murder on March 28 in Rice County Court as part of a plea agreement. In exchange, another conspiracy of first-degree premeditated murder was dismissed. He is expected to be sentenced on May 1.

Helgeson reportedly sent a man several text messages in regard to killing his assault victim, one of which said, “Yea I have a plan but dunno if it will work.”

Detectives then listened to a 38-minute phone call between Helgeson and the man he wanted to arrange the murder, according to the complaint. Recordings caught things like, “I want him worse than beat up. … Like not breathing,” and “I need this done.”

An undercover officer allegedly exchanged text messages with Helgeson about how to arrange the killing and later met with Helgeson in Northfield, Minn., posing as the man who was going to kill the victim, the complaint states.

Helgeson allegedly discussed killing the victim, how to make it look like a drug deal gone bad and payment for the job in the form of a golf cart and ATV. The officer allegedly asked Helgeson several times if he was sure he wanted the victim dead.

Officers then arranged to meet with Helgeson on May 14 about the payment, went to Helgeson’s house, arrested him and put his child into protective custody. According to the complaint, Helgeson admitted to speaking with the undercover officer but only about selling his four-wheeler.

Helgeson will be sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder on May 1 and for burglary and assault on May 17.

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