A 21-year-old man anguished for more than a year until he could no longer keep secret that he strangled a 65-year-old man while the two were having sex in a west-central Minnesota apartment, according to a manslaughter charge based in part on the defendant's confession.
Harley W. Hatch was charged Wednesday in Chippewa County District Court with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Thomas E. Dickson, of Montevideo, on Dec. 23, 2013, in Dickson's apartment. Hatch, also of Montevideo, remains jailed without bail.
According to the complaint, Hatch admitted to police in January that he strangled Dickson during a sex act in the victim's Montevideo home.
"Hatch stated that Dickson's death had been haunting him for over a year," and he never said a word to anyone until confessing to police, the complaint continued.
An autopsy by the Ramsey County medical examiner's office revealed strangulation marks on the neck and wounds elsewhere on Dickson's body, the court document added.
From an earlier case, Hatch remains charged with illegal weapons possession, making a terroristic threat and domestic assault. His criminal history in Minnesota also includes convictions in Chippewa County for burglary and drug possession in 2011.
With the police investigation turning up e-mail and cellphone communication between Hatch and Dickson, Hatch admitted to killing Dickson and said the two had met through the victim's ad on craigslist.com. The two had sex on two occasions at Dickson's apartment.
He said the two were having sex involving a leash and Hatch made a choking sound. Suspecting that Dickson was dead, Hatch got dressed and left with the leash, later tossing it down a sewer drain. It was a news report, Hatch added, that confirmed to him his fear that Dickson was indeed dead.