In a flurry of desperate texts, phone calls and in-person meetings, Jesse Allen Helgeson offered the man he thought was a contract killer a used golf cart and his father's ATV to "get rid of" his ex-girlfriend's new mate.
"The biggest thing that concerned us was just the immediacy that he wanted this done," said Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn. "He didn't have the money, but he had vehicles."
On Wednesday, Helgeson, 26, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to a complaint by the Rice County Attorney's Office.
Last week, a "concerned citizen" went to police and said Helgeson had texted him about having the boyfriend killed, according to a complaint by the Rice County attorney's office. In one of the texts, Helgeson wrote "get rid of him lol," according to the complaint.
Because Helgeson said he didn't have any cash, he said he'd pay for the service in another way. "Give u cart and Wheeler to get it done."
In a recorded phone conversation, the acquaintance said he could get a friend to do the dirty work.
Concerned citizen: "He was asking questions like how bad do you want him beat up.
Helgeson: "I want him worse than beat up in a way."
"Like not breathing."
Helgeson said the boyfriend had threatened to torture Helgeson's young son in front of him and then kill Helgeson. Helgeson revealed he tried to get somebody to kill the boyfriend earlier, but the prospective hit man just stole Helgeson's truck without doing the job.
Last week, Helgeson met the recommended contact killer, who was really an undercover officer, at the Flying J truck stop in Northfield and gave him the name, description and address of the boyfriend. When asked if he wanted the boyfriend "hurt or dead," Helgeson replied "dead." Helgeson recommended that the murder look like "a drug deal gone bad."
In a second meeting on Monday at the truck stop, Helgeson was arrested in the parking lot. He had brought his young son, who was taken into protective custody.
"For him to show up with a kid like that is quite unusual," Dunn said.
Helgeson, of Kenyon, Minn., also faces charges of burglarizing and assaulting the boyfriend earlier this year.
Helgeson was being held at the Rice County jail on Wednesday.
Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495; Twitter: @stribnorfleet