Ex-boyfriend charged in double homicide case

Published 10:20 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

GRANITE FALLS  — A west-central Minnesota man was charged Wednesday with murder in the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend, who identified the suspect as the shooter before he died.

The Yellow Medicine County Attorney’s office charged Andrew Dikken, 28, of Granite Falls with two counts of second-degree murder. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance today.

Dikken turned himself in at the Renville County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon. He was being sought in the deaths of Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls and her 28-year-old boyfriend, Chris Panitzke of Redwood Falls.

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Dikken had been missing since Monson and Pantizke were fatally shot Sept. 2 in Granite Falls. His pickup was found two days later in Redwood County.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the early morning shooting and found Panitzke lying on the floor in his boxer shorts with a towel wrapped around his arm. Panitzke told the officer he and Monson were sleeping when someone entered the house and started shooting at them. When asked who shot him, Panitzke identified Dikken as the shooter, the complaint said.

The officer found Monson dead in bed. She had suffered numerous gunshot wounds. Panitzke again identified Dikken as the shooter while in the emergency room of Granite Falls Hospital, the complaint said. Panitzke was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died days later of complications from gunshot wounds.

A relative of Dikken told a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent that a gun had been taken from the relative’s home without permission, the complaint said. The stolen gun’s caliber was consistent with shell casings and bullets recovered from Monson’s home and from her body. A gun case matching the description of the stolen gun case was found in Dikken’s pickup.

The investigation discovered that Monson had received text messages from Dikken within hours of the shooting, the complaint said. A message also was sent to one of Monson’s family members, indicating that Dikken was threatening Monson’s life, according to the complaint.

Dikken was seen on video camera at a convenience store about three blocks from Monson’s home several minutes after the 911 call reporting the shootings, the complaint said.

Dikken remained in jail Wednesday, pending his court appearance.

Monson’s family is relieved that Dikken is in custody, Monson’s cousin, Eric Monson, said.

“His capture is one step toward closure, justice being carried out will be the final,” Eric Monson said.