Dane Joseph Riley of Pine River was sentenced Thursday, Feb. 13, in Cass County District Court to serve the statutory maximum of 40 years in prison for the murder of Mark Andrew Huesmann of Pine River, according to Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie.
A Cass County jury convicted Riley, 29, of second-degree intentional murder, ineligible person in possession of a firearm and interference with a dead body.
In a separate trial, the jury also found that aggravating factors existed, which warranted an upward departure from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. The jury found that Riley had treated Huesmann, 27, with particular cruelty when he burned and dismembered his body before burying him.
The jury also found that Riley is a dangerous offender.
Riley was further sentenced to serve 60 months for the firearm violation and one year for the interference with a dead body violation. Pursuant to Minnesota law, those sentences will be served concurrently with the murder sentence.
Ninth District Judge David TenEyck presided over the trial and sentencing.
In the five-day trial, the jury received evidence that on July 20, 2012, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office was contacted in reference to a missing person report. Authorities learned that an adult male identified as Mark Andrew Huesmann had not been seen or heard from since July 13, 2012.
Investigation revealed that Riley had picked up Huesmann at a house sometime during the early morning hours of July 14. Officers were alerted to the presence of a burn pit located near the Riley’s residence near Pine River.
In the pit, officers found the remains of charred clothing. Further search of the property led officers to two separate areas where it appeared there had been recent excavation. Huesmann’s remains were subsequently located in this location.
An adult female residing at the Riley residence told officers she had been awakened by the sound of two gunshots in the early morning hours of July 14. She subsequently went outside where she observed Huesmann on the ground with Riley on top of him striking him in the chest area.
She further stated that she could hear Huesmann begging Riley to stop at which point she screamed. Riley ordered her back in to the trailer. Riley entered the trailer a short time later and 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 assisted Strandlie with the prosecution of the case.