Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Jay Anthony Ernst, age 27 of Lakeville, has been charged* with two counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (involving premeditation) in connection with an apparent suicide attempt that, if successful, would have also resulted in the death of Ernst’s two children that took place in Lakeville on October 29, 2015.
The allegations contained in the criminal complaint reflect that at approximately 1:35 a.m. on October 29, 2015, officers were dispatched to a Lakeville residence where Ernst had been found by a family member inside of his vehicle in a closed garage with a garden hose attached to the tailpipe of the vehicle, which was running, with the other end of the hose inside the window of the vehicle. The family member pulled the hose out and pounded on the window, at which time Ernst, who had been inside the back closed hatch door of the vehicle, got out, opened the garage door, said goodbye, and drove away. The family member then called the police. When it was determined that Ernst’s two young sons, ages two and four, were inside the vehicle with him, an Amber alert was issued.
Burnsville police located Ernst’s vehicle as it was traveling southbound on I-35E at approximately 4:30 a.m. Ernst was taken into custody after a brief struggle. Emergency medical personnel were brought to the scene to check on the condition of the children who were found inside the vehicle. Both the children and Ernst appeared to be in good health. Ernst was taken into custody and transported to the Lakeville Police Department. The children were returned to their home.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint which is located online at: Criminal Complaint Search
. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at: Inmate Search
Backstrom commented: “We are thankful that this potential tragedy was averted by the actions of the family member and the responding police agencies.” Backstrom thanked the Lakeville Police Department and Burnsville Police Department for their assistance on this case.
Ernst made his first appearance in court today and bail in the amount of $1,000,000 without conditions ($750,000 with conditions) was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Thomas W. Pugh. Ernst’s next court appearance is set for November 24, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.