MINNEAPOLIS - An electronic filing confirms that Danny Heinrich, officially referred to as a "person of interest" in the Jacob Wetterling case, will appear in U.S. District Court early Tuesday afternoon.
Heinrich, jailed for nearly a year on child pornography charges, will appear before Chief Judge John Tunheim at 1 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis. The 53-year-old is currently held at the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River, where federal prisoners are routinely housed, and will be transported to the federal courthouse later Tuesday morning.
A steady stream of those connected to the case were spotted filing into the federal courthouse Tuesday morning, among them Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall and Heinrich's defense attorney Katherian Roe. "A lot of questions will be answered," Roe told KARE 11's Caroline Lowe.
The hearing could provide the answers to many pressing questions:
- Did prosecutors offer Heinrich a deal for leading authorities to Jacob's body, as multiple sources have told KARE 11 he did?
- If so, will he plead guilty on the existing child pornography charges against him, or others related to Jacob's kidnapping and murder?
- How much time will Henrich spend in prison for his crimes?
- As part of the potential plea deal, will Heinrich allocute to the details of Jacob's death?
To this date, no one has been officially charged in Jacob Wetterling's kidnapping and murder. That could change Tuesday afternoon.
Danny Heinrich was arrested in October of 2015 after investigators serving a search warrant discovered three-ring binders in his Annandale home filled with explicit images of young boys. That search warrant was filed after an updated DNA test identified samples found on the clothing of Jared Scheierl, a boy who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a stranger back in 1989. Jacob Wetterling was abducted months later, and investigators long suspected that the two cases were related.