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1/19/2013: Suspect charged with first-degree attempted murder

A Wanamingo man was reportedly in stable condition Friday morning after being hit him in the head with a hammer earlier this week.

Christie Yennie said that her son, 20-year-old Daniel David Yennie, had undergone a four-hour brain surgery and was still in a coma at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. She added that he is responding to pain, but it's too early to tell if or when he will recover.

"We're not out of the woods yet," Christie Yennie said. "This is the beginning of a long haul."

According to a court complaint filed in Goodhue County District Court Tuesday, Jonathan Lee Closner, 26, hit Yennie in the head several times early Monday morning.

Police were called to 106 E. Jefferson Drive, located in the Ponderosa Trailer Park Lot in Zumbrota, at about 4:45 a.m. by Amanda Closner, Jonathan Closner's estranged wife.

Officers found Yennie in a bedroom unconscious and seizing and a "large amount of blood all over the bed and wall."

Amanda Closner told police that she and Yennie had been lying in bed at about 4:30 that morning. Yennie was asleep, but she said she had seen Jonathan Closner come into the room carrying a hammer. Amanda Closner said Jonathan put his hand over her mouth and leaned over her to hit Yennie three to five times, the complaint says.

Jonathan Closner then left the residence, Amanda Closner said. He was arrested a short time later at Kwik Trip in Zumbrota. Authorities found a hammer with what appeared to be blood on it in the woods near the residence.

Amanda Closner added that she and Closner were going through a separation. She said Jonathan Closner found out that she was having a relationship with Yennie and had been "a little upset and all crazy," the complaint says.

She applied for an order for protection against Jonathan Closner, which was granted Jan. 11 and prohibited him from having contact with her or entering the Jefferson Drive residence, the complaint says.

Jonathan Closner faces multiple charges, including two felony first-degree attempted murder charges, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and domestic abuse.

Closner told police late Monday morning that he entered the trailer and grabbed a hammer out of the tool box in the entry way when he saw Yennie's belongings in the living room, the complaint says. He said he hit Yennie on the left side of the head and saw a "significant amount of blood after the second blow."

He is being held in the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bail. Closner's first court appearance will be Feb. 1.

Yennie was transported to St. Marys by Mayo One helicopter.

Christie Yennie said he will probably have to undergo more surgeries Still, she said, while this is "a mother's worst nightmare," her family isn't mad at Closner's family.

"We are not judging Jonathan's family," she said. "We hold no grudges. There's no anger."

Christie Yennie said that she and her son had moved to Wanamingo from the Two Harbors, Minn., area in September. She added that Daniel Yennie and Amanda Closner worked together at McDonald's in Zumbrota.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.