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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Suspect charged with murder after man he's accused of setting on fire in Minn. dies

  • An Andover landlord accused of setting his roommate on fire was charged with murder Thursday after the victim died earlier in the day.
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  • An Andover landlord accused of setting his roommate on fire was charged with murder Thursday after the victim died earlier in the day.
     
    Adam John Lilienthal, 29, faces three counts of second-degree murder. Lilienthal is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday, the Star Tribune reported.
     
    Authorities say Lilienthal fled the scene after Scott Yorek, 55, was critically burned Tuesday night at the house they shared. Lilienthal was arrested hours later near Orr in northern Minnesota.
     
    Yorek suffered burns over 80 percent of his body and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Before being put into a medically induced coma, Yorek told medical personnel that Lilienthal had set him on fire, according to the criminal complaint.
     
    Yorek died about 2 a.m. Thursday at HCMC of "complications of thermal injuries," the Hennepin County medical examiner's office said.
     
    Authorities describe the conflict as a dispute between a landlord and a tenant. Deputies had gone to the home earlier Tuesday concerning a dispute between the two but left once the parties agreed "to separate for the evening," the Anoka County sheriff's office said.
     
    According to the complaint, sheriff's deputies were called to a home around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and found a man lying naked on the front steps. The man's clothing was burned off and he had severe burns over his entire body.
     
    Deputies spoke briefly with the man, who said, "I can't believe Adam tried to kill me," and "Why did Adam do this to me?" the complaint said.
     
    Deputies identified "Adam" as Lilienthal, who had been renting a room in the home to the victim. Recently there had been tension between the two about the living situation, according to the complaint, which did not offer details.
     
    A fire investigator concluded that Yorek was lying on or standing near a bed in an upstairs bedroom when an accelerant was poured on him, the bed or both and ignited, the complaint said. The victim's clothes were burned off as he made his way to the outside door where he was found.
     
    Lilienthal remained in jail Thursday. It was unclear if he has a defense attorney.
     

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