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Man who murdered Mahnomen County couple last week enters surprise guilty plea

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MAHNOMEN, Minn. - A man charged in the deaths of two people just over a week ago surprised a Mahnomen County courtroom today when he pleaded guilty to murder and other charges during what was expected to be a routine pre-trial hearing.

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Timothy James Thorson, 52, stated he couldn't go another day with the deaths of Francis and Ethyl Lundon on his conscience before pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and one count each of burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

Thorson will be sentenced at a later date, but it is unlikely he will ever leave prison, said Mahnomen County Attorney Julie Bruggeman, who said Thursday she had seen nothing like Thorson's guilty plea in the eight years she has been a prosecutor.

She said two judges working at the courthouse Thursday said the same thing.

The decision to accept the guilty plea was made after consulting with the victims' family members, who said their main goal was to make sure Thorson never left prison, Bruggeman said.

Thorson, who lived in a chemical dependency treatment center not far from the Lundons' home, told authorities he went to the house with the intention of killing drug dealers he believed lived there.

Read Friday's Forum for more details.

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