A Minnesota man has been arrested after he allegedly decapitated a man he believed raped his girlfriend, authorities said.
Joseph Christen Thoresen is accused of using a baseball bat to beat David Haiman before stabbing him in the lungs and cutting his head off with a machete on June 21, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Itasca County attorney.
Thoresen, 35, then dragged his victim’s body into the woods and threw his head into the brush, court documents charge.
The murder occurred after Thoresen’s 22-year-old girlfriend learned the victim was coming to the couple’s Grand Rapids apartment and became upset, telling her boyfriend that he raped her, she told police.
When Haiman, 20, arrived, the girlfriend punched him and tied him up, the complaint said.
He allegedly agreed to be tied up and beaten, the woman told police, saying that she went on to break his nose and punch him in the gut.
She untied him, and then Thoresen punched him repeatedly and said he should not have raped “my girl.”
The group talked about “scoring some bud,” and they left in Haiman’s car to go to Ball Club, where they smoked meth with another friend.
After smoking, the group drove around in the woods, where Haiman allegedly “repeatedly called them worthless pieces of s*** and called her a slut,” the complaint said.
The girlfriend told police that Thoresen and Haiman argued, and that after the pair got out of the car to look under the hood, her boyfriend stabbed the victim multiple times.
Thoresen allegedly told another acquaintance he had Haiman check the oil and then hit him in the head with a baseball bat and stabbed him, the complaint said.
The woman said she tried to stop her boyfriend as Haiman lay on the ground groaning and asking for her, but Thoresen took a large knife from Haiman’s belt loop and cut off his head.
She told police that this was “not my Joe.”
Tributes for Haiman poured in on his Facebook page, as loved ones mourned the loss of “a beautiful soul.”
“RIP and may god be with you sweet one,” one friend wrote.
“RIP David you were a good guy and didn’t deserve any of this,” another friend commented.
Thoresen was arrested on June 24 after a traffic stop and was later released. The driver of the car, who was arrested for allegedly fleeing, told police Thoresen said he killed the vehicle’s owner, the complaint said.
The man told police that he saw Thoresen with property that he believed belonged to Haiman, including a laptop, school bags, a cell phone and a brown wallet.
Police arrested Thoresen again on June 26 after learning the car’s owner had been reported missing and had not been seen in five days. Haiman’s remains were discovered in the Ball Club area that day.
Thoresen denied having any contact with Haiman for two or three days, but investigators said they uncovered a text message between the pair on Thoresen’s phone.
Thoresen was charged with murder in the second degree. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison. His bail was set at $2 million without conditions, or $1 million with conditions. He’s set to appear in court on July 5.
The girlfriend was charged as an accomplice after the fact to second-degree murder and third-degree assault. She was also accused of hiding the murder weapon in their apartment.
She faces up to 20 years in prison on the accomplice charge and up to five years on the assault charge.
Her bail was set at $200,000 without conditions, or $100,000 with conditions. She will also appear in court on July 5.
Plea information was not immediately available.