MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 24-year-old man faces charges of attempted murder, assault and burglary after he allegedly sneaked into a Cass County home early Friday morning through the doggy door and beat a man, whose wife he desired, with a piece of wood, authorities said.
The Cass County Attorney’s Office charged John Lutgen Friday with one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree burglary.
According to Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie, the assault happened around 4:40 a.m. at a residence near Cass Lake. An investigation revealed the following details:
During Friday’s early morning hours, Lutgen communicated with the victim’s wife, with whom he was infatuated, on a social networking website. During this conversation, Lutgen reportedly told the woman that her husband was unfit to be a father or a husband and suggested that they should both kill him.
At this point, the victim’s wife told Lutgen to leave, and she turned off her phone. This happened at 2 a.m., just before she went to sleep.
But at 4:30 a.m., the victim’s wife said she woke up to find Lutgen standing before her bed, starring at her. She told Lutgen to leave repeatedly and escorted him out the door.
Then the victim’s wife went outside to retrieve a pet, at which point Lutgen ran back into the house. When the victim’s wife returned inside, she heard what sounded like two pieces of wood being knocked together. In the bedroom, she found Lutgen kicking her husband and hitting him in the head with a piece of wood again and again.
According to the victim, Lutgen yelled, “Die, die, die!” as he landed blows.
The victim’s wife was able to pull Lutgen off her husband, who then was able to get out of the bedroom.
Lutgen then fled through the bedroom window. Several hours later, police arrested Lutgen and booked him into the Cass County jail.
The victim is recovering from his injuries, which include a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, at a local hospital.
A judge set Lutgen’s bail at $500,000 with conditions. His first court appearance is set for Dec. 27.