Echo man charged with murder conspiracy

OLIVIA – A man held in the Renville County Jail while awaiting trial on a burglary charge in Redwood County tried to hire another inmate to kill a witness in his case and assault the witness’ mother.

Ronald James Andersen, 47, of Echo, was arraigned in Renville County Court on?Monday on charges of conspiracy to commit first degree murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated first degree witness tampering, and consipracy to commit assault in the first degree.

According to the complaint, Andersen offered another man $10,000 to kill the witness and assault her mother, even signing over to him three valuable rings that he owned but were held by the jail.

The man he tried to hire, however, went to officials with the story. Cooperating with a Renville Drug and Violent Crimes agent and a Redwood County investigator, the man was wired and recorded his conversations with Andersen on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, in which Andersen allegedly told the man what he wanted him to do to the victims to keep the witness from testifying. Andersen allegedly offered the informant $10,000 to kill the witness, and provided addresses, descriptions of the victims and their residence. Andersen signed over the rings to the informant, allegedly as payment.

Andersen could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the conspiracy to commit muder charge.

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