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Prosecutors won't press charges in Gagne case

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Verne Gagne
Former pro wrestler Verne Gagne, wearing his United States Heavyweight Championship belt in a 1953 photo.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Gagne pushed 97-year-old Helmut Gutmann.  The coroner says Gutmann died of complications from a broken hip.  

However, Gagne suffers from dementia and Freeman says therefore, the former wrestler couldn't be charged with a crime.

"In order to hold a person responsible criminally for actions they have to do two things: they have to commit an act which causes harm to a person and they have to intend that act," Freeman said.  "It's clear that a person with dementia like this just simply didn't know what he was doing."

Freeman also says no charges will be brought against the nursing home where the incident occurred.  

Gagne is no longer staying at the home.