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Pine River man convicted of intentional murder

.  Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie announces that Dane Joseph Riley, age 29, was convicted, by a Cass County jury, of the offenses of 2nd Degree Intentional Murder, Interference with a Dead Body and ineligible person in possession of a firearm.

In the five day trial, the jury received evidence that on July 20, 2012 the Cass County Sheriff’s Office was contacted in reference to a missing person report.  Authorities learned that an adult male identified as Mark Andrew Huesmann had not been seen or heard from since July 13, 2012.  Investigation revealed that Riley had picked up Huesmann at a house sometime during the early morning hours of July 14.  Officers were alerted to the presence of a burn pit located near the residence.  In the pit, officers found the remains or charred clothing.  Further search of the property led officers to two separate areas where it appeared that there had been recent excavation.  The remains of Huesmann were subsequently located in this location.

An adult female residing at the Riley residence told officers that she had been awakened by the sound of two gunshots in the early morning hours of July 14.  She subsequently went outside where she observed Huesmann on the ground with Riley on top of him striking him in the chest area.  She further stated that she could hear Huesmann begging Riley to stop at which point she screamed.  Riley ordered her back in to the trailer.  Riley entered the trailer a short time later and told her not to say anything about what she had seen.

The jury deliberated for 3 hours before returning the verdicts.  The jury then was asked to deliberate further regarding the aggravating factors of Riley’s criminal history and the particular cruelty with which he treated Huesmann.  They also returned guilty verdicts with respect to the aggravating factors.

Strandlie said that he will be asking for the statutory maximum sentence of 40 years at the time of sentencing.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conducted the investigation in the case.  Assistant Minnesota State Attorney General Eric Schieferdecker assisted Strandlie with the prosecution of the case.