Prosecutors in murder trial seek to use Panitzke's 911 call naming Dikken as shooter
GRANITE FALLS — Shot five times at close range, Christopher Panitzke told a 911 dispatcher that he was dying.
The prosecution in the first-degree murder case against Andrew Dikken, 28, of Renville, filed a motion Friday in District Court in Yellow Medicine County seeking to admit the 911 call and a later recorded conversation with a police officer as evidence in the upcoming trial.
Dikken faces six counts of first-degree murder for the fatal shootings on Sept. 2 in Granite Falls of his former girlfriend Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls.
Monson died at the scene.
Panitzke died six days later at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he had been airlifted. He never regained consciousness after he spoke with a police officer at the Granite Falls Hospital. The conversation was recorded.
The motion filed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office asks that the recorded conversation and the 911 call be allowed as evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule.
State law prohibits hearsay evidence if the speaker cannot be cross-examined by the defense. The law makes an exception when the speaker believes death to be imminent.
The prosecutors describe Panitzke’s statements as a “classic dying declaration.’’
The statements, which have not been made public until this point, also reveal that the shootings occurred at virtually pointblank range. Panitzke and Monson were asleep when Dikken allegedly came into the bedroom of Monson’s home. “ … Dikken woke them up by turning on the lights, lifting the sheets, stating ‘Kara, Chris’ and then shooting them,’’’ according to the recently filed motion.
Dikken is alleged to have fired a .380-caliber pistol.
The criminal complaint alleges that Panitzke listened as Dikken walked around in the house before leaving. Court documents also allege that Dikken cut a natural gas line to the house.
Panitzke made the 911 call after allegedly waiting for Dikken to leave the home.
“Oh my God. I’m bleeding everywhere. I’m dying here. (Expletive),’’ Panitzke stated to the 911 operator. “Andy Dikken. She was killed. Killed Kara and he shot me twice.’’
The autopsy found that Panitzke suffered five separate gunshot entrance wounds. The wounds to his left arm caused the majority of his blood loss. In his call to the 911 dispatcher, he is quoted as stating he needed to tie off his arm to stop the bleeding.
Videotape from a nearby convenience store shows Dikken purchasing cigarettes and a soda shortly after the shootings in the early morning hours.
Dikken was the focus of an extensive manhunt in the Minnesota River Valley bottomlands until he showed up 15 days after the shootings at his parents’ home in Renville and then surrendered to Renville County authorities. He is in custody in the Yellow Medicine County Jail on $3 million bail awaiting a Sept. 8 trial date.
He faces two counts of first-degree murder for premeditation, two counts for murder while committing the act of burglary and two counts of murder while committing or attempting to commit arson.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Dikken faces the possibility of life in prison.