Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.
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Hardy Wills-Traxler

A 25-year-old Minnesota man has been charged for the murder of his father, who was fatally stabbed and then burned in the shed that he lived in with his son. 

According to a charges filed in Le Sueur County District Court, 25-year-old Hardy Wills-Traxler is accused of killing his father, setting fire to their home, and then fleeing. 

The remains of the victim, 64-year-old Bruce Traxler, was found after firefighters extinguished the fire on the 37700 block of Hunting Preserve Lane in rural Le Center on the the morning of Jan. 22. 

The fire was reported by Traxler's brother, who informed police that there were living quarters built into the shed and that his brother and nephew lived together in it. The victim's brother noted that Bruce and Hardy had not been getting along prior to the incident, according to the criminal complaint. 

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Charges state that Bruce Traxler suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest, which proved fatal. Fire investigators then determined that the structure was set on fire intentionally.

Hardy Wills-Traxler was arrested later the same day in Blue Earth County, and in charging documents it says he admitted that he stabbed his father and placed pillows atop stove burners to ignite the fire. 

Wills-Traxler told a group of a snowmobilers and an employee of a Mankato-based snowplow company that he had killed his father, the charges state.

Wills-Traxler has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson. 

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