The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 1, 2013

Assault charges dismissed after victim's story challenged



Hansen also said he was driving the Jeep because he had bought it from Friedrichs and they were in the process of transferring the title.

“I did have a bat up my sleeve but, when I walked in the house, Mr. Stillwell was asleep on the couch,” Hansen said during his February call from jail. “So I put the bat down.”

Ashley Stillwell was grabbing some clothing when her husband woke up. When Gary Stillwell confronted Hansen, Hansen said he didn’t want any trouble. Both Hansen and Friedrichs said Friedrichs left the house at that point and walked away. Friedrichs also said he asked Hansen to bring him home before going to Stillwell’s house.

“I ducked a punch and I still said I was not there to fight,” Hansen said. “Then his dog attacked and he punched me in the head. So I one-twoed him and told Ashley, ‘Grab whatever you have because we’re leaving.’

“Sure enough. I dropped the keys.”

By the time Hansen found another vehicle to drive and caught up with Friedrichs, he was walking across the North Star Bridge toward North Mankato, Hansen said. He picked him up and they went to work in St. Peter.

“I didn’t expect charges to come of it,” Hansen said.

Friedrichs said he has police reports that show both Gary and Ashley Stillwell changed their stories about the incident several times when they were interviewed by investigators.

Hansen gave his description of the incident to investigators in February. Reports from the deputies were turned over to Friedrichs’ attorney, Jeannie Blatz, in early March. On March 7 Blatz demanded a speedy trial. A trial scheduled for Wednesday was canceled after Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney dismissed the charges.

Rovney’s reason for the dismissal was, “Cannot prove the matter beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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