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Forum News Service, Published October 17 2013

Granite Falls double-homicide suspect offers to plead guilty

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. - The man charged in a double homicide last month is offering to plead guilty to both counts of second-degree murder, according to a motion filed Wednesday in District Court.

Andrew Joseph Dikken, 28, of Renville, is charged in the shooting deaths of Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Christopher Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls. He is being held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls on $3 million bail.

The criminal complaint alleges that Dikken entered Monson’s Granite Falls home early on Sept. 1 and shot her and Panitzke as they slept. Monson died at the scene, and Panitzke died Sept. 8 of complications from gunshot wounds.

If Dikken pleaded guilty to the two counts, he said in the motion that, under state sentencing guidelines, he expects to receive at least 632 months in prison, or 52½ years.

The prosecution recently filed a motion indicating it will ask the court to find “aggravating factors,’’ which would lead to a sentence greater than that called for by the guidelines. Each second-degree murder charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison.