Man Who Attacked a Good Thunder Artist With a Hammer Pleads Guilty

The man who attacked a Good Thunder metal sculptor in late 2021 pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony first degree assault causing great bodily harm.

Thirty five year old Brandon McMurtrey attacked 83 year old artist Arnie Lillo with a hammer in November.  Lillo’s assistant reported he died from COVID-19 complications weeks later in December.

McMurtrey has a sentencing hearing set for August 23rd in Blue Earth County District Court.

He entered an Alford plea to the first degree assault charge, meaning he didn’t admit guilt, but acknowledged a conviction would’ve been likely if the case went to trial.  Two other felony charges, first degree aggravated robbery and second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, were dismissed.