A Hinckley man is now jailed on charges that accuse him of hiring a hit man to kidnap his ex-girlfriend -- and police believe they caught him just in time. FOX 9 News reporter spoke with the suspect on Tuesday.
Jesse Ericson, 45, has a long rap sheet that includes sexual assault, theft and fraud. Police say he's a methamphetamine user and a house flipper with no sense of right or wrong.
"He is an egomaniac," said Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, who had plenty of colorful adjectives to describe Ericson -- but none of them were good. "He's a creepy cat. That's the best way to describe this guy."
Investigators say Ericson's latest run-in with the law began in the Grand Casino parking lot last week, which is when police claim he made a terrible gamble by asking a friend to kill his ex-girlfriend.
That friend told police, and they laid a trap for him.
On three separate occasions last week, Ericson turned up at a liquor store to meet a hit man who was actually an undercover agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. They caught everything on video and audio tapes, and authorities say Ericson wavered between wanting the woman dead and wanting to turn her into a sex slave.
Officials said he provided detailed plans of where she lived, and even supplied photographs. He also had detailed, written plans of what he wanted to do in the scheme.
Surprisingly, Ericson was willing to speak with FOX 9 News from a very noisy visiting room at the jail.
"I wasn't serious, and I didn't know what I was doing," he said.
Ericson said he remembers meeting the hit man, but denies that he ever gave $100 for a down payment or said he would sell his ex-girlfriend's home and cash out her IRA and 401K.
"I don't remember much of it," he said.
Ericson told FOX 9 News he was on Vicodin and drank a case of beer a day. The clerk at the liquor store described Ericson as a regular.
When asked whether he thought he was mentally sound, Ericson replied, "No. Not really, I don't."
Investigators said Ericson has other ex-girlfriends, and that the relationships all end in restraining orders and threats. If he's convicted on the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge, this most-recent ex may be his last.
Another county is also considering charging Ericson in the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.