Jury finds Redwood Falls man, Aaron Swenson, guilty of first degree assault
A Redwood County District Court jury found a Redwood Falls man guilty of one count of Assault in the First Degree, one count of Assault in the Second Degree, one count of Assault in the Third Degree and one count of Assault in the Fifth Degree, County Attorney Jenna Peterson announced Tuesday.
The jury deliberated for approximately one hour on Friday, March 12, before delivering the guilty verdicts around 11:45 a.m.
Aaron Morris Swenson, 32, Redwood Falls, was found guilty for choking, threatening to stab, and attempting to drown the Victim on the Lower Sioux Indian Community on August 20, 2020.
According to the criminal complaint and testimony at trial, the Lower Sioux Police Department received a 911 call around 8:30 p.m. stating Swenson was involved in a fight at Indian Rock on the Minnesota River. When officers arrived, they located Swenson at the top of the embankment soaking wet. The Victim was at the bottom of the embankment on the shore of the river, soaking wet, on his hands and knees in visible pain. The Victim informed officers Swenson held him in a choke hold in the river until he passed out. The Victim stated he eventually regained consciousness when Swenson threw him on the rocky shoreline. Swenson then assaulted him a second time. This time threatening the Victim with a knife – telling him to choose to get back in the river or get stabbed. The Victim made an impossible decision of getting back in the river wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and steel toed boots. Swenson held him around his neck under the water; only releasing him and throwing him back on shore when Swenson heard law enforcement arriving after an eyewitness called 911.
Jenna Peterson, Redwood County Attorney, who prosecuted the case, told the jury in her closing argument, “This was a cold blooded attack. This was intentional. This was calculated.
Swenson went there for one reason and one reason only — it certainly was not to fish; it was to kill the Victim.”
Swenson will be sentenced April 12 at the Redwood County Courthouse.