Danny Heinrich Admits to Abducting, Assaulting, Killing Jacob Wetterling
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The latest on the abduction and killing of Jacob Wetterling:
A plea deal for the killer of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling calls for no charges in the boy’s death.
Danny Heinrich admitted abducting, sexually assaulting and shooting Jacob on Oct. 22, 1989, in a crime that horrified and mystified Minnesotans for more than a quarter-century.
His admission came in federal court in Minneapolis as he pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge.
Heinrich faces the statutory maximum of 20 years on the child pornography count, though Judge John Tunheim will decide his sentence. Heinrich could also be civilly committed to the state’s sexual offender program after his prison sentence ends.
Heinrich led authorities to Jacob’s body last week after initially denying involvement in his death.
The man who killed 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling more than a quarter-century ago is detailing how he carried out the crime.
Danny Heinrich admitted in federal court Tuesday that he killed the boy whose 1989 disappearance has transfixed Minnesota in the years since.
The 53-year-old Andover man described donning a mask and confronting three children with a revolver near Jacob’s central Minnesota home. He says he took Jacob, handcuffed him and assaulted him in a grove of trees.
Afterward, he shot Jacob and later buried him in a gravel pit, and reburied him a year later.
Heinrich says when he took Jacob, the boy asked, “What did I do wrong?”
A Minnesota man has confessed to kidnapping and killing 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling nearly 27 years ago.
Danny Heinrich made the admission Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in federal court in Minneapolis.
Heinrich led authorities to Jacob’s remains last week, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.
He admitted abducting Jacob near the boy’s home in the central Minnesota community of St. Joseph on Oct. 22, 1989.
Authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest last October when they announced the child pornography charges.
A Minnesota man who led authorities to the remains of an 11-year-old boy who was abducted in 1989 is expected to appear in federal court in a child pornography case.
Danny Heinrich’s status conference is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
Last year, authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, who was snatched from a rural Minnesota road on Oct. 22, 1989.
Heinrich was never charged in that case. But he led authorities to Jacob’s remains last week, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said Jacob’s remains were identified Saturday. Authorities expect to provide more details this week.
Associated Press writer Amy Forliti contributed to this report.