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Man pleads guilty in vicious assault in Willmar

Jared Busse

WILLMAR — A man accused of severely injuring a woman in her Willmar apartment last January entered a guilty plea Tuesday to first-degree assault.

Jared Richard Busse, 45, of Duluth, entered a Norgaard plea in Kandiyohi County District Court in Willmar, saying he cannot remember what happened. A Norgaard plea is a guilty plea by a defendant who asserts no memory of events, but accepts there is sufficient evidence for conviction.

The court ordered that Busse be held by the Commissioner of Corrections on $500,000 bail pending sentencing Sept. 29.

Busse entered the plea as part of an agreement in which charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and domestic assault will be dismissed.

According to the complaint, Willmar police responded Jan. 7 to a call made by the defendant. At the woman's apartment, police found the woman lying on her back on a couch. Her eye sockets, nose and other facial bones were broken, an eyelid was torn, several ribs were fractured, and her lung punctured. There were also whip and burn marks on the woman's back that investigators believe were made using a metal pipe found at the scene.

The injuries to the woman were attributed to blunt force trauma.

Officers found significant quantities of blood at locations in the apartment, a knife stuck in the floor of a room, a box cutter knife in the bathtub, and a TV tray with its legs removed.

Busse had bruising on his knuckles consistent with a boxer's fracture type of bruising, as well as scratches on his upper stomach and chest and an abrasion on his back.

Busse told officers that the woman had injured herself and his injuries were due to carrying her from a bathtub to the couch. At Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, the woman responded "yes'' when asked if Busse had assaulted her, according to the complaint.

The woman said Busse was her fiance and that he had assaulted her 30 years ago.

Busse has prior convictions for assault, including separate cases involving second-degree assault, according to court records.

Tom Cherveny

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

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