LE CENTER (TEC News) -- An Elk River man faces a minimum of 30 years in prison after entering a guility plea to last October's murder of a Kasota woman.
24-year-old Tyler Wicklund appeared in a Le Sueur County courtroom this morning where he agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder with intent while committing a felony. He also will plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Wicklund returned with his ex-girlfriend Jessica Buboltz to her apartment the morning of October 29th after a night of drinking. After a discussion of their relationship, Wicklund twice admitted in police interviews to using a knife to cut the throat of Buboltz. Wicklund then grabbed her cellphone and took the young child they had together and fled to his grandmother's home in Elk River.
That's where he told his grandmother he had killed Buboltz, took a gun and left her home while threatening to kill himself. His grandmother called law enforcement, which led them to contact Le Sueur County authorities who checked her Kasota apartment and discovered her body.
Charges of premeditated first-degree murder and murder in the first-degree while committing a criminal sex act will be dismissed as part the the plea. Also to be dropped as part of the plea are charges of second-degree murder with intent and second-degree murder while committing a felony.
While being questioned in court this morning by his public defender Anthony Nerud, Wicklund voice was cracking and from behind could be seen wiping his eyes.
Nerund eluded to a multi-page letter in which Wicklund professed his remorse for the crime.
"You told me from the begining you wanted to find a way to settle," said Nerud during his exam of Wicklund.
Nerund told the court that Wicklund didn't want the case to go to trial and hoped to avoid causing more harm to Buboltz's family.
The sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison. But unlike the premeditated murder charge that will be dropped, Wicklund would be eligible for parole in 30 years.
"There's no guarantee of parole," said Assistant Attorney General William Klumpp, Jr.
Klumpp said the agreement came with the blessing of the victim's family.
Wicklund will be sentenced on November 2nd.
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