CALEDONIA, Minn. — A Holmen man who fired at La Crescent police before leading authorities on a high-speed pursuit last year was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison.

Wyatt Helfrich, 20, pleaded guilty in Houston County District Court to two counts of first-degree assault with use of deadly force against a peace officer. He receives credit for one year served.

Wyatt Helfrich


Helfrich early July 31 fired a shotgun out his window at La Crescent Police Officer Ryan Quanrud as the officer approached the car on a traffic stop.

Quanrud and a second officer, Christopher Frick, returned fire as Helfrich, who was shot in the neck, sped away.

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Passenger William Wallraff, 20, of Trempealeau fired out of the rear window at the pursuing officers as Helfrich drove west on Hwy. 44 at speeds of more than 100 mph, according to the complaint.

After their vehicle went into a ditch near Caledonia, Helfrich and Wallraff fled into a cornfield and surrendered peacefully.

Officers recovered a 20-gauge shotgun, rifle and ammunition at the scene.

Neither of the officers involved were injured. Helfrich was treated for a gunshot wound. Wallraff was not injured.

The Winona County attorney determined the officers acted in self-defense and were justified in their use of force. Wallraff is serving 13 years in prison for his role in the case.

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(2) comments


Ramona would’ve understood this misguided person that had a poor childhood.


It's nice to see that MN judges know how to sentence someone!! If that happened in La Crosse County,,,,he would have just had his hands slapped.

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