Police say a 26-year-old Rice County man is now in jail after he offered a friend his golf cart and ATV in exchange for killing his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.
Instead of taking the deal, that friend went straight to police and the murder-for-hire plot ended with an undercover arrest at a Northfield truck stop.
Jesse Allen Helgeson, of Kenyon, is charged with conspiracy to commit premeditated first-degree murder, citing revenge and jealousy as possible motives. He's being held at the Rice County Jail on $250,000 bail.
Helgeson lives in a farm house outside of town with his parents and 2-year-old son. Investigators say they believe he wanted revenge against the new boyfriend of the child's mother.
"I think the biggest thing for us is just how quickly he wanted this done and how serious he was about it," said Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn.
According to the criminal complaint, Helgeson wanted his ex-girlfriend's new man dead. So, he sent a text message to a friend that said, "give u cart and wheeler to get it done."
"Get rid of him," read a message sent on May 10.
But instead of going to a hit man, that friend went straight to police. Several phone calls between the two were recorded, and they captured the urgency behind Hegel son's request.
"I'm completely, 150,000 percent. This is not a game," Helgeson said. "I need this done."
So, his friend gave Helgeson the number of an undercover officer, and a meeting was arranged at the Big Steer Flying J truck stop in Northfield.
At the truck stop meeting, the undercover officer asked what the Helgeson wanted done -- "hurt or dead?"
"Dead," Helgeson said.
The two then discussed how to dispose of the body, with Helgeson saying to "make it look like a drug deal gone bad. Leave drugs behind."
That was the same meeting where Helgeson offered up his father's ATV as payment, but that isn't the most bizarre thing. Police say he brought his 2-year-old son along to the truck stop. The child has since been placed in protective custody.
"This is something you see in the movies," said Dunn.
This was Helgeson's second attempt at hiring someone for the murder, but he told police the first hit man "jacked" his truck and "didn't do the job."
Helgeson is also facing two counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in Mower County after an attack against the same victim.