Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After being on the run for 15 days, Andrew Dikken made his first appearance in court a couple of hours ago.
He’s charged with allegedly murdering his former girlfriend Kara Monson and her new boyfriend Chris Panitzke. They were shot in Monson’s Granite Falls home on Labor Day.
With help from his family, Dikken turned himself in to authorities Tuesday.
His first court appearance lasted less than 10 minutes at the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse, where Dikken’s unconditional bail was set at $3 million.
Dikken kept his head down during most of the appearance, even while answering questions from the judge.
Nearly two dozen of Monson’s and Panitzke’s family members were in the courtroom during the appearance. Some of Dikken’s family and friends were also there.
After the appearance, Monson’s mother, Patrice, spoke publicly for the first time since her daughter was killed.
“She was a beauty – inside and out. She loved every walk of life,” Patrice Monson said. “She liked anybody and everyone. She was not a judgmental person. And it’s wonderful to be a mother of a daughter such as her.”
Both victims had children of their own.
According to family members, Dikken and Kara Monson dated for about three years, but had broken up back in April.
Christopher Panitzke’s family was also in court but did not speak with reporters afterwards.
Andrew Dikken’s next court appearance is Oct. 3. It’s possible he could enter a plea at that time.
Dikken faces two counts of second degree murder.