Skip to main content

A central Minnesota man has been charged with the second-degree murder of his girlfriend after she allegedly accused him of talking to other women.

According to charges filed Tuesday in Morrison County District Court, 60-year-old Harold A. Wassather was instructed by police in Motley to come out of his trailer with his hands up, after authorities were informed by a friend of Wassather's in Minneapolis that he had admitted to killing his girlfriend. 

Wassather exited his trailer and was crying, the criminal complaint says. He admitted to killing his live-in girlfriend, identified as Christine Nygard, whose body was found on a bed inside the trailer. She had suffered possible head trauma, as her face was "covered in dark bruises."

Wassather later confirmed to authorities that he had moved in with Nygard on the 600 block of Highway 10 in Motley last December. The criminal complaint details the fatal encounter. 

"Wassather started to cry and stated that he did not mean to kill Nygard. Wassather stated that he beat up Nygard after she accused him of talking to other women. Wassather said that the assault started in the kitchen. He said that he dragged Nygard around the house, continuing to assault her. Wassather said he was banging Nygard’s head into the floor and cabinets. Wassather said that he had Nygard in the bathroom and he was punching her, slapping her, and kicking her. Wassather said that Nygard lost consciousness in the bathroom, when he was banging her head of the cabinets in the bathroom.

"Wassather said that Nygard regained consciousness, and he tried to give her some milk to drink. Wassather said that Nygard drank some milk and then lost consciousness again. Wassather said that Nygard stopped breathing when she was still in the bathroom. Wassather said that he brought Nygard to the bedroom and placed her in the bed and covered her up. Wassather said that he didn’t want her to die, but he also admitted under questioning that he did not call 911 or ask anyone for help."

According to the charges, Wassather said the fatal assault happened either March 3 or March 4, though the body wasn't found until the day he was arrested, on March 6. 

Wassather has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of third-degree murder. 

If you know anyone who is affected by domestic violence, you can find more information on services available here, via the Minnesota DPS.

You can also call the Day One Crisis Hotline at 1-866-223-1111.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.01.17 AM

Woman breaks free after being kidnapped and taken to Brooklyn Park

The woman was taken by force as she arrived at her work in Plymouth.


How the fastest animal on the planet returned to MN after local extinction

The fastest animal on Earth had once vanished from Minnesota and Wisconsin.


St. Paul's new 'skate trail' brings non-traditional park to life

Gateway Park is the first of four parks to open in the Highland Bridge redevelopment.


80 mph winds, large hail possible with severe storms in MN

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for much of the state until 3 a.m. Saturday.


30 people evacuated as flooding hammers small town

It's assumed that at least eight inches of rain fell in Randall, with more heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

Intersection in Rochester.

Boy dies in motorcycle crash in Rochester

Police are investigating as of Friday afternoon.


AmericInn Mora

Charges: Man killed girlfriend, ran naked from AmericInn hotel

The victim was found dead with a bag over her head, authorities say.


Man charged with murder of 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was fatally shot while jumping on a trampoline on May 15, 2021.

prison, Rush City cell block

Minnesota man gets 12-year sentence for murdering girlfriend

The victim was a 27-year-old woman who left behind two children.

Queenetta McDaniel

Maplewood woman charged for 3-year-old son's fatal overdose

The boy was 3 years, 8 months old when he died.

Derek Malevich (1)

Man charged in ex-girlfriend's death was accused of assault months prior

He was charged with murder days before he was set to appear in court in connection to the assault charges.

Blake Maloney

Charges: Farmington man killed 3 family members with AR-15 rifle, hammer

Maloney is accused of killing his brother and father days before he killed his mother.

Octavio Nique

Charges: Rochester man ravaged ex-wife's home, killed her dog

The 32-year-old allegedly left her a voicemail telling her she wouldn't like what she'd see.