Adam John Lilienthal
Andover landlord charged in death of man set on fire
- Article by: PAUL LEVY
- Star Tribune
- June 19, 2014 - 9:31 PM
An Andover landlord accused of setting his roommate on fire was charged with three counts of second-degree murder Thursday after the 55-year-old man died earlier in the day.
Adam John Lilienthal, 29, who authorities said fled the scene after Scott D. Yorek was burned Tuesday evening, was arrested within hours in St. Louis County. It was Yorek who, before being placed in a medically induced coma at Hennepin County Medical Center, identified the suspect to medical workers, according to court documents.
Lilienthal is scheduled to be arraigned in Anoka County court Friday morning. Prosecutors will seek a high bail, said County Attorney Tony Palumbo.
“This was a horrendous crime, causing immense suffering to the victim,” Palumbo said.
When Anoka County deputies responded to a report of a man having been set on fire Tuesday, they found Yorek lying naked on the front steps of the house. His clothes had burned off, and his body was covered with severe burns, authorities said.
“I can’t believe Adam tried to kill me,” Yorek told deputies, according to the court documents, and also said, “Why did Adam do this to me?”
Yorek had been renting a room from Lilienthal. The complaint said there were recent tensions between the two over living arrangements.
Fire personnel who came to the house said the scene was consistent with Yorek lying on or standing near a bed upstairs, according to the complaint.
Accelerant was poured over him and ignited, and his clothes burned off as he made his way to the outside door where deputies found him, the complaint continued.
Authorities statewide were notified in an attempt to find Lilienthal. He was arrested about 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, just south of Orr, Minn., where he reportedly owns a cabin.
Yorek, meanwhile, was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center burn unit, where he was found to have third-degree burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body.
He died shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday.
Authorities have yet to comment on what prompted the conflict. There is no mention of a motive in the court complaint.
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419
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