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Helgeson sentenced in murder conspiracy

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crime and courts Red Wing, 55066

Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

A Kenyon man was sentenced Monday in Rice County to more than 13 years in prison for conspiring to have his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend killed.

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Jesse Allen Helgeson, 27, will serve 161 months and 15 days at Minnesota Correctional Facility-St. Cloud. He will get credit for 352 days already served.

According to a court complaint filed in Rice County District Court last May, Helgeson asked an acquaintance over text message to kill Helgeson's ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.

Helgeson told the acquaintance that he wanted the man to be "not breathin again soon," the complaint says.

After receiving the text messages, the acquaintance showed them to the Kenyon Police Department. Goodhue County Sheriff's deputies were then able to record a phone conversation between Helgeson and the acquaintance. The acquaintance asked Helgeson if he wanted to back out of the deal.

"I'm completely 150,000 percent ... this is not a game ... I need this done," Helgeson said, according to the complaint. Payment was to be a used golf cart and an ATV.

An undercover police officer then posed as the acquaintance, and continued working out the details of the deal with Helgeson. A payment meeting was set up for May 14 at the Big Steer, a truck stop near Northfield.

After Helgeson arrived, officers arrested him.

Helgeson pleaded not guilty in June. He submitted an amended guilty plea March 28.

The terms of Helgeson's sentencing were set forth in a plea agreement, Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster said. The 161-month, 15-day sentence was on par with Minnesota sentencing guidelines for the felony charge.

"As part of the plea agreement, we agreed to the guideline sentencing at the lower end of the box," Beaumaster said.

Helgeson had been held in Rice County Jail since his arrest, and had to report to MCF-St. Cloud Monday. According to Minnesota statute, Helgeson could serve two-thirds of his sentence behind bars and the last third on supervised release.

Helgeson also faces first-degree burglary and second- and third-degree assault charges, all felonies, in Mower County.

According to that court complaint filed in January 2012, Helgeson broke into his ex-girlfriend's Austin, Minn., residence on Jan. 6, 2012, and assaulted her new boyfriend -- the same man who he later tried to have killed -- with a flashlight.

The victim sustained large cuts to his head and bruises, which were classified as "substantial bodily harm."

Helgeson pleaded guilty to the first-degree burglary and second-degree assault charges April 19. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for May 17.

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