Grand jury indicts Dikken in Granite Falls shootings

GRANITE FALLS – A grand jury has indicted the man accused of killing two people in Granite Falls on six counts first-degree murder, Yellow Medicine County court records said.

An indictment was filed against Andrew Joseph Dikken on Tuesday for two counts of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of first-degree murder while committing burglary, and two counts of first-degree murder while attempting to commit arson. Dikken, 28,of Renville, made a first appearance on those charges in Yellow Medicine County District Court on Monday afternoon. Dikken allegedly entered a home in Granite Falls in the early hours of Sept. 2 and shot Kara Monson, 26 of Granite Falls, and Christopher Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls, multiple times. Monson died at the scene of the shooting, and Panitzke died Sept. 8 from complications from his wounds. Investigators also found that the gas lines had been cut in the house where the shooting took place.

After the shootings, Dikken was the focus of a two-week manhunt. On Sept. 17, he was turned in to law enforcement by family members. Dikken was originally charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the shootings.

In October, Dikken had filed court documents stating his intent to plead guilty to the second-degree murder charges. However, the court denied that request, and prosecutors said they wanted to pursue first-degree charges. Under Minnesota law, only a grand jury can give an indictment for first-degree murder charges.

The maximum sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison without possibility of release.

Dikken remains in custody in the Yellow Medicine County jail, with bail set at $3 million.