Anoka County man set ablaze by landlord asked, "Why did Adam do this to me?" before dying
Andover resident Adam Lilienthal faces second-degree murder charges after his tenant died because of burn injuries sustained when he was allegedly set on fire intentionally by Lilienthal. (Read the backstory here.)
According to the charges, "there had recently been tension" about the living situation between Lilienthal and 55-year-old Scott Yorek, who rented a room in Lilienthal's residence at 1329 137th Lane Northwest. Though the charges don't provide specifics, the dispute was apparently serious enough that Lilienthal thought it was a good idea to douse Yorek with accelerant while he was "lying or standing near a bed in an upstairs bedroom" before setting him ablaze.
Authorities were called to the scene at 7:32 p.m. Tuesday on reports of a fire. The charging document details the grisly scene they encountered upon arrival:
Deputies discovered a male... lying naked on the step. [Yorek's] clothing had ben burnt off, and it was obvious to deputies that [Yorek] was suffering from severe burns over his entire body. Deputies were able to speak briefly with [Yorek], who stated "I can't believe Adam tried to kill me," and "Why did Adam do this to me?"
"Sloughed skin" was found "in a number of areas in the home," the charges say.
Yorek was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with third-degree burns that covered up to 90 percent of his body.
"On the evening of June 17, prior to being placed in a medically induced coma, [Yorek] reported to medical personnel that the defendant had been the person who started him on fire," the charges say. "[Yorek] later died as a result of the burns in the overnight hours of June 18-19."
Lilienthal, meanwhile, was seen racing away from the scene in a truck. Neighbors told authorities he has a cabin near Virginia, Minnesota, and might have been heading there. He was arrested just south of the St. Louis County town of Orr around 1:50 a.m. the morning after the incident. Officers noted Lilienthal had "significant burns" on his face, chest, and arms.
Lilienthal has an extensive criminal record, including convictions for drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, felony burglary, felony damage to property, obstructing the legal process, and domestic assault. The cross-eyed mugshot of him we used in our previous post about the Yorek incident is from a 2011 DWI arrest, Anoka County Sheriff's Office Commander Paul Sommer tells us.
To read the murder charges for yourself, click to page two.
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