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.

Comments (18)
  1. Bill says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  2. Man says:

    Talk about a smooth operator. What gal wouldn’t fall head over heels?

  3. kate says:

    Troll much?
    This has nothing to do with gay marriage or polygamy. Sounds like this women didn’t want to marry this guy, no matter what. This guy has some issues that the law or other peoples wishes obviously have no affect on.
    Leave the politics out of this.

    1. rottdogge says:

      Thanks, Kate, for trying, but I think Jim is a little too confused for intervention at this point.

    2. Donna Reiser says:

      The comment was sarcasm. People say that gays harm the sanctity of marriage, yet everyone in this tragic tale were heterosexuals.

  4. Billy says:

    I would like to know what makes a person like that do what he does. Crazy

    1. Crazy is ... says:

      I too always am amazed at what trips a faulty wire in someone.
      jealousy and love can do it. Dope and booze. I imagine sometimes just things said.
      Put this combo together and we have a Charley Manson. Scary

  5. MIKA says:

    Doggy doors and wood will be made illegal.

    1. anti bachmann says:

      that is funny the government now will get involved

    2. BUD says:

      I agree with you.Remember this is MINNESOTA,the nanny state

  6. rottdogge says:

    What I love is the assertion this miscreant makes that the victim is not fit to be a husband or father, then recommends murdering him. A bit of misplaced nobility? Here, honey, let me prove that I’m the man of your dreams by committing murder.

  7. HOOHOOHOO says:

    If she is married why is she talking to the guy at 2am. It seems that they planed something together and she back off. I hope the husband wont get back with her,

  8. marry me darn it says:

    Obviously he went to the Amy Koch school for marriage sanctity. You know, one man, one woman, and another man with some wood.

    Darn those gays for ruining another marriage. HA!

  9. Murph says:

    Ever notice that 90 percent of the perps have abnormal shaped heads or obvious facial or eye abnormalities? Some but not all could be caused from injuries or drug complications.But the majority seem to be there at birth! Strange!

  10. Murph says:

    Ah love..ain’t it grand! The world could use some right now.Lutgen will surely find some during his years at Stillwater!

  11. jackactionhero says:

    “At this point, the victim’s wife told Lutgen to leave, and she turned off her phone.”


  12. curious says:

    Just a question….if they met on a social site, how did he know where she lived unless she told him?? Not the smartest thing to do is tell someone you don’t know your adress. Unless he’s been there before and got some…..

  13. Donna Reiser says:

    This is why you don’t get into intimate chats with people of the opposite sex on social networking sites if you are married. If you do, then don’t let them know where you live, and don’t share any information about marital discord with them.

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