32 year sentence in killing of Eden Prairie man in his home

Friday, September 08, 2017

Nathan Foth was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison for murdering a 74-year-old Eden Prairie man, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Foth, 24, of Le Seuer pleaded guilty in May to breaking into the home of Allen Retzer and staying in his basement before slipping upstairs and stabbing him in the neck while Retzer was asleep in his bed. The sentence of 391 months was the highest allowed under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines for second-degree murder.

In court on Friday, four family members gave victim impact statements, including Kevin Brandt, Retzer’s son-in-law. Overcome by emotion several times, he described Retzer as a retired contractor who was a hardworking and “God-fearing Christian man,” who loved hunting, fishing, gardening, cooking, traveling and visiting with his many friends.

Retzer had never met Foth and Brandt said “Foth was truly unprovoked.”

Foth’s attorney argued he should only receive 278 months in prison because Foth took responsibility for the slaying, pleaded guilty and provided the family with some degree of closure by letting them know what happened.

However, before sentencing him, Hennepin County District Court Judge Jeannice Reding said that Retzer was asleep in his bed and vulnerable at the time of the killing and that Foth did not render aid to the victim and waited in the room to make sure he died.

Foth had admitted in May that he had been at a hospital emergency room, being treated for a drug emergency. After about an hour, he was released, but he didn’t know where to go. In the past, he had gone with a friend to visit his friend’s grandfather in Eden Prairie. He decided to go to that house and was able to push open a basement window. Foth said he then hid in the basement for about two days, often staying in a closet so he would not be found by Retzer.

During that time, Foth said he was hearing voices and he was having discussions with himself. However, by the time he decided to take a knife and go upstairs, he was no longer hearing voices.
Foth went late in the evening and found Retzer sleeping in his bed. A struggle ensued and Foth stabbed Retzer several times, he admitted, adding that he knew what he was doing and it was not self-defense. Once Retzer was dead, Foth admitted that he stole a gun case, alcohol, groceries and a van. He also cleaned himself up in the bathroom before leaving.

The van was later recovered in Utah and police arrested Foth when he returned on a bus from Oregon.