Murder conspiracy suspect pleads guilty

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Kenyon, Minn., man charged with burglary and assault in Mower County is scheduled to be sentenced next month for conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder.

Jesse Allen Helgeson, 27, pleaded guilty on March 28 to the felony charge 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.

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

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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.

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 was in Mower County Court last week for two charges of first-degree burglary, two charges of second-degree assault and one of third-degree assault, all felonies. In that Jan 6, 2012, case, police say Helgeson went to the 800 block of Ninth Avenue Northwest in Austin and assaulted a man. Helgeson allegedly jumped on top of him and hit him over the head several times with a flashlight. He was later arrested in Dexter. A pretrial in that case is set for April 19.