Minnesota man pleads guilty to trying to kill 2 young sons

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, July 26, 2016

HASTINGS — A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to trying to kill his two young sons during a suicide attempt last year.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom says 28-year-old Jay Anthony Ernst of Lakeville pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of attempted murder. Sentencing is set for Sept. 16.

Police say Ernst tried to kill the boys and himself by rigging a car’s exhaust pipe.

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A family member interrupted Ernst’s attempt after finding the three in the running vehicle in a closed garage early on Oct. 29. The family member called police, but Ernst had fled with the boys, ages 2 and 4, by the time officers arrived.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued an Amber Alert to help locate the three, and an officer in Burnsville spotted the vehicle.