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Man savagely beaten and left unconscious in Lovell apartment

The Lovell Chronicle of Lovell, Wyoming

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Afternoon shoppers were stunned on Sunday when a man, who, according to authorities had been "savagely beaten" at a nearby apartment complex, staggered into the parking lot at the Red Apple Supermarket at around 2:30 p.m. Upon entering the parking lot, witnesses told authorities the man fell to the ground and lapsed in and out of consciousness, as bystanders called 911 for help.

According to Sgt. Steve Allred of the Lovell Police Department, the man, who was initially identified by authorities only as a 23-year-old man, was found covered in blood with deep lacerations on his head and neck. The Lovell Chronicle learned later that the victim was Richard Hensen of Lovell.

Hensen was taken immediately to North Big Horn Hospital where he was treated for serious injuries. According to Allred, when Hensen regained consciousness he told authorities that he had been beaten unconscious in his apartment by two men, who he identified as Jacob E. Poikonen, 26, and Emmanuel A. Schuman, 20. He told authorities that additional threats were made and reported items that were allegedly stolen from his residence during the incident.

"The victim was able to identify his assailants and his apartment was processed for evidence and a search was begun for the alleged assailants," said Allred.

According to Allred, the two alleged assailants were found at the Lovell Apartments on Second and Montana Streets, where they were taken into investigative detention by a team of police officers and sheriff's deputies at around 5:30 p.m. the same day.

On Monday, the police department posted signs offering a reward for information or items found in connection with the assault, including clothing and weapons. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials got a lucky break when they received a tip that led to the discovery of bloodied clothing allegedly worn during the attack, a retractable police-style baton like the one reported to have been used to beat the victim, a firearm and its magazine allegedly taken from the victim's apartment, a smashed cell phone owned by the victim and other items that could possibly connect the alleged assailants to the crime.

According to authorities, the items were found in a vacant apartment located across the hall from an apartment where both suspects were taken into custody the previous day. According to Sheriff Ken Blackburn, authorities were informed that the suspects allegedly took keys belonging to the manager of the apartment building, using them to enter the vacant apartment, where they stashed items of evidence connected with the incident. Blackburn said since the items authorities were looking for were found, authorities retracted the reward that was offered earlier.

He commended the Lovell Police Department, which is young and short-staffed, for their excellent work on the case. Allred credited bystanders and neighbors who came forward with information that helped them investigate the case.

"The Lovell Police Department would like to thank bystanders and neighbors who have come forth with information and are continuing to help with the investigation of this savage attack," said Allred. "The case is active and continues to be under investigation."

He noted that persons arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and charges made upon initial arrest may be amended or dismissed as determined by the County Attorney.

The victim has since been released from the hospital and is cooperating with authorities. The two alleged assailants made an appearance in Circuit Court in Lovell on Wednesday morning. Schuman was charged with one count of aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. Poikonen was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated robbery. Both men are being held on a $250,000 cash bond.

Allred said he was very pleased with the high bond that was imposed by the County Attorney and the fact that it was also upheld by the judge.

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Original Publication Date: July 16, 2015

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