Lawyer for former Wetterling person of interest wants to depose Heinrich as part of lawsuit

November 20, 2018 01:17 PM

The video above aired in March, 2017 when Dan Rassier first filed his lawsuit.


The attorney for a one-time person-of-interest in the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling says he wants to depose the man who confessed to kidnapping and killing the 11-year-old St. Joseph boy in October 1989.

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Dan Rassier, whose family owns a farm close to where the abduction occurred, filed a lawsuit against former Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, Stearns County and BCA Agent Ken McDonald in the spring of 2017. 

RELATED: Former Wetterling person of interest's attorney says client is satisfied with judge's ruling

Initially cleared as a suspect in the case, Rassier was named a person of interest after investigators dug up his farm in 2010 using a search warrant obtained on what the suit claims were fraudulent and illegal means.

In November 2017, United States District Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the portions of the lawsuit that claimed the search warrants were obtained by fraudulent or illegal means. The judge also dismissed McDonald as a party in the lawsuit.

RELATED: Portions of lawsuit filed by former Wetterling person of interest dismissed

However, the court did uphold Rassier's claims of First Amendment retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation, "stemming from Sanner labeling Rassier a person of interest."

Now, his attorney Mike Padden confirms plans, pending court approval, to depose Danny Heinrich, who in 2016 confessed to the crime and helped lead investigators to Wetterling's remains.

According to court documents filed on the matter, possible questions would concern whether Heinrich drove down the Rassier driveway on the night Wetterling was abducted, the vehicles he used that day, if he was responsible for an attempted abduction in St. Joseph Township in July of that year, what vehicles he may have had access to and whether he was questioned or surveilled by law enforcement between July 3 and Oct. 22 1989 (the night of Wetterling’s abduction).

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Frank Rajkowski

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