Man sentenced to 26 years in prison for murdering his grandmother

A man who pleaded guilty to murdering his grandmother at her home last year has been sentenced to serve 26 years in prison.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, 43-year-old Dustin Gene Tinklenberg of Ogilvie pleaded guilty in August to one count of second-degree murder in exchange for a recommended sentence of 26 years (312 months) in prison. On Monday, judge Stoney Hiljus agreed with the deal and formally sentenced Tinklenberg, while also crediting him for 427 days already served behind bars.

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Police were called in September 2022 to a home off Highway 23 in Ogilvie after someone reported finding a woman dead on a couch.

The victim, 93-year-old Stella Anderson, was identified as Tinklenberg’s grandmother. Law enforcement determined she died from “obvious homicidal violence” with deep cuts to her face, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators from the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office said multiple family members were at the home when they arrived. One of them told law enforcement they believed Dustin Tinklenberg killed his grandmother.

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Anderson’s daughter told police that she went to her mother’s home earlier that same day and noticed the home was unusually dark with the blinds closed. She initially thought her mother was taking a nap when she saw her laying on the couch. The daughter then saw her mother’s disfigured face and then ran outside to call the police, the complaint states. She added that she brought her mother and Tinklenberg to a store a couple of days earlier, and that “everything seemed fine. “

After Tinklenberg was arrested, the complaint states he believed drones were following him around and he was under observation. He also reported that someone performed surgeries on him that scarred his body, although law enforcement noted he didn’t have any scars.

When asked about his grandmother’s death, Tinklenberg said she’d somehow “manipulated/altered the bacon he was eating” and he “lost it” according to the criminal complaint.

A hatchet sheath was found at the scene, the complaint adds, and one of the great-grandchildren noted that a hatchet that matched the sheath was kept at Anderson’s home. Authorities also noted that Tinklenberg was seen on multiple prior occasions with a hatchet-type weapon, including the night before Anderson’s body was found.

Court records show the Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined Anderson suffered seven sharp- force injuries to the head. It was noted that bone from the skull was “cut cleanly” meaning that a thick-bladed type of weapon was used in the attack.