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Former Laporte man re-indicted in Lake Hattie death

By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com A crudely engraved paver stone lies amid the burned out rubble that used to be James Schwartzbauer's home in Lake Hattie Township in Hubbard County. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"...

Engraved paver stone
This engraved paver stone is in the rubble of James Schwartzbauer's burned out home. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)
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By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com A crudely engraved paver stone lies amid the burned out rubble that used to be James Schwartzbauer’s home in Lake Hattie Township in Hubbard County.
It says, “Freddy Bachman.” The mysterious death of Schwartzbauer in May 2013 has bedeviled Hubbard County authorities for the past 18 months. Fredrick William Bachman is now charged for the second time in Schwartzbauer’s death. Did the 57-year-old die in a house fire, by suicide or was he murdered first by the now 28-year-old man who lived on an off with him? [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1400900","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]] The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office believes it was murder and convened a second grand jury earlier this month. The result was that Bachman was indicted for First Degree Murder while committing a Felony; Second Degree Murder with Intent, Second Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Arson. n James Schwartzbauer was licensed foster care provider and social worker who moved to the property on Lakes Beauty and Hattie in 1999. A longtime friend said Schwartzbauer oozed compassion. He was the type of man who couldn’t turn away a hard case, an abused child, a child who’d lost direction in life, a child who had nowhere else to go. He ran a foster home for troubled youths on Beauty Lake. The family friend told the Enterprise that Fred’s brother, Norman Bachman III, lived at the Lake Hattie home around 2001, when Schwartzbauer was operating a foster home for troubled youths. About four years before his death, James Schwartzbauer took in Fred, too. At the time the younger Bachman brother was “experiencing some personal issues,” according to the family friend. When Schwartzbauer died, Fred Bachman was building a cabin for himself across the lake on his landlord’s property. An initial coroner’s report concluded Schwartzbauer was dead of shotgun wounds before the fire started. But the final Ramsey County Coroner’s report concluded the manner of death was ultimately undetermined. His family and longtime friend maintained Schwartzbauer was not suicidal. A former inmate took to Facebook to pronounce Bachman “a really nice guy.” Bachman, at last appearance, had the long hair and quiet countenance of a religious figure. He has not spoken in court except through his attorneys. n In 2011, Schwartzbauer went before the Planning Commission to ask for a Conditional Use Permit that would have allowed him to build a commercial 24-unit Planned Unit Development for the area between the two lakes. It was for a wilderness retreat experience. Schwartzbauer envisioned a retreat for retired pastors and others in the religious community. The plan never reached fruition. The Planning Commission took no action on the project request and some neighbors thought it would upset the fragility of Beauty Lake, a natural environment lake. But their objections may have been partially based on a 2001 prosecution of Schwartzbauer, who had six foster sons living with him at the site. He was charged and acquitted of child abuse. It could not be verified if one of the children alleging the abuse was Bachman’s older brother, since juvenile names are protected by law. A decade later one or both Bachman brothers helped Schwartzbauer clean up the property to start his dream. The home was engulfed in flames in late May of 2013, leaving little behind. Bachman was charged with Schwartzbauer’s death after authorities found his remains in the rubble. Bachman was at the scene of the fire, acting strangely, according to police reports and the initial complaint. Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne has declined to discuss the case and the expenses associated with it, citing his prosecutorial responsibility to cease from commenting. He said he will let the facts speak for themselves. n The 2013 case began unraveling almost as soon as it was filed. The coroner’s report didn’t help. Then Dearstyne filed child pornography charges, alleging Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest in 2013. Those charges were eventually tossed and the initial murder case was dismissed for further investigation. Bachman is now scheduled to appear in Hubbard County District Court Jan. 16 on the re-filed charges. He has been living in the Twin Cities area since all the charges were dismissed. charges were dismissed.By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com A crudely engraved paver stone lies amid the burned out rubble that used to be James Schwartzbauer’s home in Lake Hattie Township in Hubbard County. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1400906","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]It says, “Freddy Bachman.” The mysterious death of Schwartzbauer in May 2013 has bedeviled Hubbard County authorities for the past 18 months. Fredrick William Bachman is now charged for the second time in Schwartzbauer’s death. Did the 57-year-old die in a house fire, by suicide or was he murdered first by the now 28-year-old man who lived on an off with him?
The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office believes it was murder and convened a second grand jury earlier this month. The result was that Bachman was indicted for First Degree Murder while committing a Felony; Second Degree Murder with Intent, Second Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Arson. n James Schwartzbauer was licensed foster care provider and social worker who moved to the property on Lakes Beauty and Hattie in 1999. A longtime friend said Schwartzbauer oozed compassion. He was the type of man who couldn’t turn away a hard case, an abused child, a child who’d lost direction in life, a child who had nowhere else to go. He ran a foster home for troubled youths on Beauty Lake. The family friend told the Enterprise that Fred’s brother, Norman Bachman III, lived at the Lake Hattie home around 2001, when Schwartzbauer was operating a foster home for troubled youths. About four years before his death, James Schwartzbauer took in Fred, too. At the time the younger Bachman brother was “experiencing some personal issues,” according to the family friend. When Schwartzbauer died, Fred Bachman was building a cabin for himself across the lake on his landlord’s property. An initial coroner’s report concluded Schwartzbauer was dead of shotgun wounds before the fire started. But the final Ramsey County Coroner’s report concluded the manner of death was ultimately undetermined. His family and longtime friend maintained Schwartzbauer was not suicidal. A former inmate took to Facebook to pronounce Bachman “a really nice guy.” Bachman, at last appearance, had the long hair and quiet countenance of a religious figure. He has not spoken in court except through his attorneys. n In 2011, Schwartzbauer went before the Planning Commission to ask for a Conditional Use Permit that would have allowed him to build a commercial 24-unit Planned Unit Development for the area between the two lakes. It was for a wilderness retreat experience. Schwartzbauer envisioned a retreat for retired pastors and others in the religious community. The plan never reached fruition. The Planning Commission took no action on the project request and some neighbors thought it would upset the fragility of Beauty Lake, a natural environment lake. But their objections may have been partially based on a 2001 prosecution of Schwartzbauer, who had six foster sons living with him at the site. He was charged and acquitted of child abuse. It could not be verified if one of the children alleging the abuse was Bachman’s older brother, since juvenile names are protected by law. A decade later one or both Bachman brothers helped Schwartzbauer clean up the property to start his dream. The home was engulfed in flames in late May of 2013, leaving little behind. Bachman was charged with Schwartzbauer’s death after authorities found his remains in the rubble. Bachman was at the scene of the fire, acting strangely, according to police reports and the initial complaint. Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne has declined to discuss the case and the expenses associated with it, citing his prosecutorial responsibility to cease from commenting. He said he will let the facts speak for themselves. n The 2013 case began unraveling almost as soon as it was filed. The coroner’s report didn’t help. Then Dearstyne filed child pornography charges, alleging Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest in 2013. Those charges were eventually tossed and the initial murder case was dismissed for further investigation. Bachman is now scheduled to appear in Hubbard County District Court Jan. 16 on the re-filed charges. He has been living in the Twin Cities area since all the charges were dismissed. charges were dismissed.By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.comA crudely engraved paver stone lies amid the burned out rubble that used to be James Schwartzbauer’s home in Lake Hattie Township in Hubbard County.
It says, “Freddy Bachman.”The mysterious death of Schwartzbauer in May 2013 has bedeviled Hubbard County authorities for the past 18 months.Fredrick William Bachman is now charged for the second time in Schwartzbauer’s death.Did the 57-year-old die in a house fire, by suicide or was he murdered first by the now 28-year-old man who lived on an off with him?[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1400900","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"320","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office believes it was murder and convened a second grand jury earlier this month.The result was that Bachman was indicted for First Degree Murder while committing a Felony; Second Degree Murder with Intent, Second Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Arson.nJames Schwartzbauer was licensed foster care provider and social worker who moved to the property on Lakes Beauty and Hattie in 1999.A longtime friend said Schwartzbauer oozed compassion. He was the type of man who couldn’t turn away a hard case, an abused child, a child who’d lost direction in life, a child who had nowhere else to go.He ran a foster home for troubled youths on Beauty Lake.The family friend told the Enterprise that Fred’s brother, Norman Bachman III, lived at the Lake Hattie home around 2001, when Schwartzbauer was operating a foster home for troubled youths. About four years before his death, James Schwartzbauer took in Fred, too. At the time the younger Bachman brother was “experiencing some personal issues,” according to the family friend.When Schwartzbauer died, Fred Bachman was building a cabin for himself across the lake on his landlord’s property.An initial coroner’s report concluded Schwartzbauer was dead of shotgun wounds before the fire started. But the final Ramsey County Coroner’s report concluded the manner of death was ultimately undetermined.His family and longtime friend maintained Schwartzbauer was not suicidal.A former inmate took to Facebook to pronounce Bachman “a really nice guy.”Bachman, at last appearance, had the long hair and quiet countenance of a religious figure. He has not spoken in court except through his attorneys.nIn 2011, Schwartzbauer went before the Planning Commission to ask for a Conditional Use Permit that would have allowed him to build a commercial 24-unit Planned Unit Development for the area between the two lakes.It was for a wilderness retreat experience. Schwartzbauer envisioned a retreat for retired pastors and others in the religious community.The plan never reached fruition. The Planning Commission took no action on the project request and some neighbors thought it would upset the fragility of Beauty Lake, a natural environment lake.But their objections may have been partially based on a 2001 prosecution of Schwartzbauer, who had six foster sons living with him at the site.He was charged and acquitted of child abuse. It could not be verified if one of the children alleging the abuse was Bachman’s older brother, since juvenile names are protected by law.A decade later one or both Bachman brothers helped Schwartzbauer clean up the property to start his dream.The home was engulfed in flames in late May of 2013, leaving little behind.Bachman was charged with Schwartzbauer’s death after authorities found his remains in the rubble.Bachman was at the scene of the fire, acting strangely, according to police reports and the initial complaint.Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne has declined to discuss the case and the expenses associated with it, citing his prosecutorial responsibility to cease from commenting. He said he will let the facts speak for themselves.nThe 2013 case began unraveling almost as soon as it was filed.The coroner’s report didn’t help. Then Dearstyne filed child pornography charges, alleging Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest in 2013.Those charges were eventually tossed and the initial murder case was dismissed for further investigation.Bachman is now scheduled to appear in Hubbard County District Court Jan. 16 on the re-filed charges.He has been living in the Twin Cities area since all the charges were dismissed.charges were dismissed.By Sarah Smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.comA crudely engraved paver stone lies amid the burned out rubble that used to be James Schwartzbauer’s home in Lake Hattie Township in Hubbard County.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1400906","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]It says, “Freddy Bachman.”The mysterious death of Schwartzbauer in May 2013 has bedeviled Hubbard County authorities for the past 18 months.Fredrick William Bachman is now charged for the second time in Schwartzbauer’s death.Did the 57-year-old die in a house fire, by suicide or was he murdered first by the now 28-year-old man who lived on an off with him?
The Hubbard County Attorney’s Office believes it was murder and convened a second grand jury earlier this month.The result was that Bachman was indicted for First Degree Murder while committing a Felony; Second Degree Murder with Intent, Second Degree Manslaughter and First Degree Arson.nJames Schwartzbauer was licensed foster care provider and social worker who moved to the property on Lakes Beauty and Hattie in 1999.A longtime friend said Schwartzbauer oozed compassion. He was the type of man who couldn’t turn away a hard case, an abused child, a child who’d lost direction in life, a child who had nowhere else to go.He ran a foster home for troubled youths on Beauty Lake.The family friend told the Enterprise that Fred’s brother, Norman Bachman III, lived at the Lake Hattie home around 2001, when Schwartzbauer was operating a foster home for troubled youths. About four years before his death, James Schwartzbauer took in Fred, too. At the time the younger Bachman brother was “experiencing some personal issues,” according to the family friend.When Schwartzbauer died, Fred Bachman was building a cabin for himself across the lake on his landlord’s property.An initial coroner’s report concluded Schwartzbauer was dead of shotgun wounds before the fire started. But the final Ramsey County Coroner’s report concluded the manner of death was ultimately undetermined.His family and longtime friend maintained Schwartzbauer was not suicidal.A former inmate took to Facebook to pronounce Bachman “a really nice guy.”Bachman, at last appearance, had the long hair and quiet countenance of a religious figure. He has not spoken in court except through his attorneys.nIn 2011, Schwartzbauer went before the Planning Commission to ask for a Conditional Use Permit that would have allowed him to build a commercial 24-unit Planned Unit Development for the area between the two lakes.It was for a wilderness retreat experience. Schwartzbauer envisioned a retreat for retired pastors and others in the religious community.The plan never reached fruition. The Planning Commission took no action on the project request and some neighbors thought it would upset the fragility of Beauty Lake, a natural environment lake.But their objections may have been partially based on a 2001 prosecution of Schwartzbauer, who had six foster sons living with him at the site.He was charged and acquitted of child abuse. It could not be verified if one of the children alleging the abuse was Bachman’s older brother, since juvenile names are protected by law.A decade later one or both Bachman brothers helped Schwartzbauer clean up the property to start his dream.The home was engulfed in flames in late May of 2013, leaving little behind.Bachman was charged with Schwartzbauer’s death after authorities found his remains in the rubble.Bachman was at the scene of the fire, acting strangely, according to police reports and the initial complaint.Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne has declined to discuss the case and the expenses associated with it, citing his prosecutorial responsibility to cease from commenting. He said he will let the facts speak for themselves.nThe 2013 case began unraveling almost as soon as it was filed.The coroner’s report didn’t help. Then Dearstyne filed child pornography charges, alleging Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest in 2013.Those charges were eventually tossed and the initial murder case was dismissed for further investigation.Bachman is now scheduled to appear in Hubbard County District Court Jan. 16 on the re-filed charges.He has been living in the Twin Cities area since all the charges were dismissed.charges were dismissed.

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