A Cass County jury convicted a Pine River man of intentional murder Friday, Dec. 13, according to a news release from the Cass County Attorney’s Office.
The jury convicted Dane Joseph Riley, 29, of second-degree intentional murder, interference with a dead body and ineligible person in possession of a firearm in regard to the death of Mark Andrew Huesmann, Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie said in the news release.
The trial lasted five days. The jury deliberated for three hours.
Jurors were also asked to deliberate further regarding aggravating factors of Riley’s criminal history and the particular cruelty with he treated Huesmann. The jury returned guilty verdicts with respect to the aggravating factors as well.
Strandlie will ask for the statutory maximum sentence of 40 years at the time of sentencing.
According to the news release:
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was contacted July 20, 2012, in reference to a missing person and learned that Huesmann had not been seen or heard from since July 13, 2012. Investigation revealed that Riley had picked up Huesmann at a house during the early morning hours of July 14, 2012.
Officers learned of a burn pit near the residence. In the pit, they found the remains of charred clothing. They found two separate areas on the property where it appeared there had been recent excavation.
Huesmann’s remains were located there.
A woman who lived at the Riley home said the sound of two gunshots woke her in the early morning hours of July 14, 2012. Outside, she observed Huesmann on the ground with Riley on top of him striking him in the chest area. She said she could hear Huesmann begging Riley to stop, at which point she screamed.
Riley ordered her back into the trailer, and later told her not to say anything about what she had seen.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted the investigation. Assistant Minnesota State Attorney General Eric Schieferdecker helped Strandlie with the prosecution.