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From Owatonna paper: Hurd guilty plea not allowed

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By Wendy Reuer

Owatonna

People's Press

OWATONNA -- The man accused of stabbing his teenage girlfriend 109 times and leaving her in the ditch outside of Owatonna was not allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

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A hearing for Ryan Hurd, 21, was held Tuesday afternoon in Steele County District Court. Hurd, through his attorney Joel Eaton, told the court he wished to enter a guilty plea.

Hurd was charged with second-degree murder after the body of Kathryn Rose Anderson, 19, was found in the ditch along 30th Street, about six miles northwest of Owatonna on Dec. 3.

Anderson was a Morris resident and a 2008 Morris Area graduate.

Prosecuting attorney, Dan McIntosh said the state would not agree to the plea because a grand jury has been scheduled to convene.

"We do not agree to any resolution to this case at this point," McIntosh said.

A grand jury is the only body which may bring forth charges of murder in the first-degree. In Minnesota, first-degree murder convictions automatically carry a sentence of life in prison without parole. Second-degree murder is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

A question Tuesday of whether or not the state would be allowed to convene the grand jury in the appropriate time of Hurd's last appearance in court was brought forward.

The grand jury was scheduled to convene on Feb. 11 although that is two days after the allotted time the state will have. Since prosecuting attorneys and the courtroom is likely to be in use due to another murder trial that was delayed, Judge Casey Christian said he would agree to allow the grand jury to convene on Feb. 11.

According to the criminal complaint, Hurd admitted to driving Anderson south of Eagan to a rural area, arguing with her then stabbing her multiple times. Hurd told investigators he left her where he had stabbed her, on 30th Street N.W. about three miles north of U.S. Highway 14.

He said he then drove Anderson's car back to Minneapolis where he bought a bus ticket to Tulsa. He is originally from that area and still has family there.

Investigators used cell phone records to track Hurd down. He was arrested by Tulsa authorities and waived his right to extradition before returning to Steele County.

On Oct. 29, Hurd had been arrested for a domestic assault between him and Anderson. A no-contact order was issued in Dakota County but another domestic disturbance was reported between Hurd and Anderson on Oct. 7.

According to the autopsy report, Anderson was stabbed 109 times and had deep abrasions on her lower back, and lower body, wounds consistent with being thrown onto a gravel surface and sliding along that surface. The cause of death was from both the stab wounds and exposure.

Anderson was originally from Morris. She was within months of graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College where she was studying to become a pastry chef.

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