Jesse Helgeson was desperate to kill his ex's new boyfriend, in part because doing so could help derail pending criminal charges against him, and in part because he probably just flat-out hated the guy for some things he said to him.
Helgeson's murder scheme was outed when a friend he contacted to help him find a hitman went to authorities. Investigators set up and secretly recorded a meeting between Helgeson and the would-be hitman, then arrested him during a second rendezvous.
The would-be, undercover hitman actually represented Helgeson's second attempt at a pay-for-murder scheme. Helgeson's first choice "jacked" his truck and "didn't do the job," [...]
According to Mower County court documents, Helgeson, a 26-year-old Kenyon resident, broke into his ex-girlfriend's house on the night of January 7 and attacked the woman's new boyfriend with a flashlight. He was later arrested and on January 19 pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of second-degree assault, and one count of third-degree assault.
Those charges are still pending, and Helgeson, who fathered a two-year-old son with his ex, apparently felt that offing his ex's new boyfriend might help him beat the rap. But he had other reasons for hating the guy. Facing prison time, he told an undercover cop during the recorded meeting that his ex's new boyfriend told him "he was gonna be my son's dad ... and said he would torture my son in front of me and then kill me."
"This is my ex's new boyfriend ... I've been trying to get this done for months," he said, and ultimately offered the undercover cop a golf cart and ATV in exchange for the murder.
According to authorities, during the recorded meeting, Helgeson confirmed that he wanted his ex's new boyfriend dead and suggested the would-be hitman "make it look like a drug deal gone bad ... leave drugs behind."
Helgeson is being held at the Rice County Jail on $500,000 bail. He could be released on $250,000 bail if he agrees to enter a pretrial release supervision program and have no contact with his ex or her new boyfriend. He's been charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit premeditated first-degree murder, a crime that could land him in prison for 20 years.