Weather Forecast


Dikken is expected to plead guilty to murder

GRANITE FALLS — Just three days after his 29th birthday, Andrew Dikken is expected to plead guilty to first-degree murder and receive a life sentence for the fatal shootings of Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Chris Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls.

Dikken is scheduled to appear for a plea hearing before District Judge Thomas Van Hon on Monday, according to court records. He is charged with six counts of first-degree murder for the Sept. 2, 2013, shootings at Monson’s home in Granite Falls.

The case is otherwise scheduled for a Sept. 9 trial date.

Dikken has been held at the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls since he turned himself over to authorities 15 days after the shooting. He had been the focus of an extensive manhunt in the Minnesota River Valley south of Sacred Heart.

Dikken previously had a relationship with Monson, who died at the scene.

Panitzke was mortally wounded, but made a 911 call for help from the home and identified Dikken as the shooter, according to the criminal complaint. He died six days later at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Dikken is alleged to have flipped on a bedroom light, lifted the sheets and shot the two victims at close range in the early morning hours, according to the allegations.

Yellow Medicine County Attorney Keith Helgeson said he could not comment on the upcoming plea hearing. Co-prosecutor Robert Plesha with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and the office’s communication’s director referred questions to the county attorney.

Defense Attorney Stephen Frazzanno did not respond to voicemails.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335