Iowa Man Sentenced for Killing Friend Over Mayonnaise
An Iowa man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of killing his friend.
The murder happened on December 17, 2020, in the tiny western Iowa town of Pisgah that's located in Hamilton County, just a few miles east of I-29.
According to the criminal complaint it all started in Moorhead, Iowa, about 8 miles from Pisgah. NBC News reports that 29-year-old Kristofer Erlbacher (above) and his 30-year-old friend Caleb Solberg were eating and drinking together at a bar in Moorhead. Erlbacher added mayonnaise onto Solberg's food and the two got into a fight.
When the fistfight ended, Erlbacher and another man, Shaun Johnson, drove to Pisgah (photo below). While on the road, Erlbacher made two photo calls to Solberg's half-brother, Craig Pryor. During the second call, Erlbacher threatened the lives of both Pryor and Solberg.
Concerned with what was going on, Pryor drove to Pisgah. When he parked, Johnson warned him that Erlbacher was inside a restaurant that Pryor had parked close to. Caleb Solberg soon arrived and he and Johnson got into a brief fight. Afterward, Erlbacher came out and got into his vehicle, striking the vehicle that Pryor was inside of. When Pryor got out of his vehicle to check on damages, Erlbacher hit the vehicle a second time, and Pryor was struck by his own vehicle. After Erlbacher left, Pryor drove to an alley for safety.
Erlbacher continued to drive around Pisgah, causing property damage, as well as damage to his own vehicle. Pryor then drove toward home and witnessed his half-brother, Solberg, and Johnson standing next to a parked vehicle.
Shortly after Pryor drove away, Erlbacher returned and hit Caleb Soberg with his vehicle. Soberg was struck multiple times and according to the criminal complaint, "Erlbacher continued to drive by the body of Caleb Soberg hindering anyone from providing aid."
Erlbacher then called Pryor, telling him his brother was dead and that he should come back. After leaving the scene his vehicle became inoperable and Erlbacher called his father for help. After picking up his son, Mark Erlbacher returned Kristofer to the scene where he was arrested.
Last month, Kristofer Erlbacher of Woodbine, Iowa was convicted of first-degree murder after a bench trial. Earlier this week, District Court Judge Greg Steensland sentenced him to life in prison.