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Hubbard County drops murder charges in Lake Hattie death case

James Schwartzbauer's body was found in the rubble of this home May 31. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

     The Hubbard County Attorney’s office dropped murder charges against Frederick William Bachman late Friday.

     Bachman, 27, formerly of Laporte, has been jailed since June and still faces seven counts of possession of child pornography, filed six weeks after the murder charge.

     The Lake Hattie Township murder case was shaky to begin with. Bachman was arrested at the scene of a fire May 31 after authorities said he was “acting suspiciously.” He lived at the property.

     The body of James Schwartzbauer, 57, was found in the rubble of the home on Beauty Lake, which Schwartzbauer had been converting to a religious retreat. Bachman had lived off and on at the resort for four years, the criminal complaint stated.

     Bachman was subsequently charged with Second Degree Murder.

     The criminal case got shakier with the Ramsey County Coroner’s office couldn’t determine a cause of Schawartzbauer’s death. The clock was ticking on the case because Bachman was entitled to a speedy trial.

     Bachman remains in the Hubbard County jail on $600,000 unconditional bond.

     The latest charges each allege Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest in 2013.

     When a court case is dismissed without prejudice, it means that a new case may be brought at a later time.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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