The 73-year-old Bloomington homeowner was satisfied enough with the man she hired to do some odd jobs around her house that she had him back the next day.
But, investigators say, just as the 47-year-old man finished the lunch she fixed for him, he knocked the woman out from behind with a blow to the head, dragged her into another room and sliced open her neck before fleeing in her car.
With much of Friday afternoon's attack captured on the home's video surveillance equipment, police needed only a few hours to make an arrest.
Danny Ray Fuston, described in court documents as homeless, was charged Monday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree attempted murder. Fuston remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Rick Hart said Tuesday said that it's important for residents to "make sure you are careful about who you let into your home" and check that workers are bonded and insured. He said he did not know how the victim originally came into contact with Fuston.
According to the criminal complaint:
Fuston worked at the home in the 10900 block of Morris Avenue on Thursday for a few hours and came back again the next morning. Video surveillance showed Fuston sitting at the kitchen table about 3:20 p.m. for a late lunch and having a chat with the woman.
He left the table for a glass of water but returned with a coffee mug, which he smashed over the woman's head. "The victim appeared to go limp at that point," the court document read.
Fuston dragged the woman to the living room. While out of direct view of the camera, her legs could be seen "twitching and moving," and it appeared Fuston kicked her several times.
Back in the kitchen, Fuston grabbed a knife, walked off-camera toward where he left his victim and then returned to the kitchen with the knife. He washed the knife and put it back where he got it.
Fuston snatched items off a table and the keys to the woman's car. He went to her vehicle in the garage, as the video showed, tossed out several items and came back in the home with a towel. He appeared to wipe the door handle and then left in her car.
About three hours after the attack and with a "large gaping wound" in her neck, the woman called police to say someone tried to strangle her "and now I woke up," the complaint said. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery.
Police caught up with the suspect that evening in Minneapolis. At first he denied having anything to do with the crime. However, once he was told of the video evidence, Fuston confessed, the complaint read.