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Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog

Two people facing murder charges for death of 24-year-old man

On Nov. 5, Minnesota authorities arrested two people in connection with the alleged homicide of a 24-year-old Willmar man. The decedent was found in a plowed field on Oct. 31.

According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, the defendants were arrested at around 5 p.m. for probable cause of second-degree murder and second-degree murder with liability for crimes of another. However, they have not yet been formally charged.

Minnesota man facing homicide charge opts for bench trial

A 20-year-old Minnesota man who is facing first-degree murder charges has decided to waive his right to a jury trial. The man made his decision during an Oct. 29 hearing according to media accounts. His trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 6. The man faces the prospect of life in prison for his alleged role in the death of a University of Minnesota student who was shot to death in February 2017.

Police say that the man went to the 22-year-old student's Duluth home with two associates to demand drugs and money. Officers are said to have discovered narcotics and cash inside a safe in the home. When the student refused to comply, one of the man's associates is alleged to have shot him twice. Five people have been charged in connection with the homicide.

Woman charged with identity theft in Minnesota

According to a veteran computer crimes investigator, Minnesota residents who wish to avoid becoming the victims of identity theft should consider freezing their credit profiles. While blocking access to credit reports can create some inconveniences for consumers, it also makes life much more difficult for those who wish to use the information they contain to open accounts and make fraudulent purchases. Consumers who wish to learn more about freezing their credit can contact the various credit reporting agencies or the Federal Trade Commission.

The issue was raised in Minnesota recently when a prosecutor in Dakota County charged a Detroit woman for opening credit card accounts using other peoples' information and then purchasing goods worth about $18,000 at Menards home improvement stores. Police say that many identity theft cases involve individuals who use the identifying information they have obtained to purchase items that are then resold.

3 relatives of Minnesota woman accused of killing her neighbor

Two men and one woman related to an elderly Rochester woman have been jailed on charges related to the shooting death of a 38-year-old man who lived next door to her. The local police captain said that detectives suspect that the woman's relatives believed that the victim had caused the elderly woman's medical emergency. They apparently left St. Marys Hospital, where the woman received treatment, about one hour before they allegedly took part in the homicide.

One of the suspects, a 34-year-old woman, was recorded on a security camera in a convenience store where she bought plastic bags. Detectives claim that the 27-year-old male suspect used the bags to cover his feet and hands when he allegedly shot the man at his residence in Bob's Trailer Park located on Marion Road Southeast. A third man, age 20, supposedly drove the car that transported the accused shooter to the location.

Minnesota man charged for death of girlfriend

Authorities in Dakota County have filed a charge of second-degree murder against a man who had been the boyfriend of a 41-year-old woman from Burnsville. She had gone missing in November 2017 until a fisherman discovered her body this April near a bridge in Burnsville at Interstate 35W. The medical examiner in Hennepin County declared the woman's death a homicide. Her injuries indicated blunt force trauma to the right side of her face.

The man had been living with the woman when she disappeared. Police found blood stains on the apartment's bedroom floor that resembled the shape of a human body. During a police interrogation, the suspect said that the woman spilled two glasses of wine on the rug. Police also found blood in his vehicle's trunk, which he attributed to his girlfriend's bleeding when he brought her home from the hospital prior to her murder. Her medical records at the time did not indicate that she had bleeding wounds.

What you should know about drug-induced homicide

It is no secret that there is an opioid crisis in the United States. People from all walks of life are falling prey to addiction, and its consequences are leaving families and communities devastated in the wake. Understandably, there has been a push for crackdown, but the resultant laws may be doing more harm than good. Drug-induced homicide laws, for example, are a questionable response to the drug crisis.

According to Rolling Stone, these laws extend liability for deaths caused by overdose to individuals who supplied or administered the drugs. Of course, there are legal issues surrounding proof of such actions, but the following are some other reasons such laws may be problematic. 

Minnesota man charged with attempting to murder a witness

Federal law enforcement authorities with the U.S. Attorney's Office report that a 29-year-old Fond du Lac man was arraigned on several charges after he allegedly attempted to murder another person for testifying in a court proceeding. The man was arraigned on Aug. 24 in U.S. District Court.

According to the indictment, the man attempted to kill the witness with a gun in October of 2017. The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that the man is a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing or owning firearms.

Two Minnesota men receive sentences for sex crimes

Minnesota residents may be interested to learn that two men, both of whom were arrested in Bemidji as result of online stings, received sentences for sex crimes. Both of the rulings occurred on August 9.

One of the defendants, a 41-year-old man from Littlefork, was found guilty on June 29 in a jury trial. He was convicted of one count of soliciting a child or someone who was perceived to be a child by using electronic communication to take part in sexual conduct. He was also convicted of one count of taking part in electronic communication that pertained to sexual behavior with a child. The sentence he received was three years in prison, with credit for the 195 days he had spent incarcerated since his arrest.

Man accused of killing prison guard awaits grand jury indictment

A male inmate accused of killing a corrections officer at a Stillwater prison on July 18 could face first-degree murder charges from prosecutors. The 42-year-old defendant appeared for a brief hearing on Aug. 3 at the Washington County District Court where he has already been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree assault.

The prosecutor said that state law supported the first-degree murder charge because the man had allegedly killed a corrections officer. He expects the grand jury to indict the man on the enhanced charge. The prosecutor said that he had sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. He added that the investigation had not identified a motive for the attack.

Woman accused of attempted murder

A Minnesota woman received an attempted murder charge on July 23 after she was accused of slitting a man's throat at his home. The assault reportedly occurred at the man's Laporte residence on the afternoon of July 21.

According to reports, the 32-year-old woman and the man had gotten into an argument on the day of the incident. The man said that he was in a recliner chair and talking on the phone when he felt the woman come up behind him. He claimed that she reached around the recliner and cut his throat from left to right. At this point, he allegedly asked the woman what she had done to him. She responded by apologizing before attempting to stab the man in the stomach. He was able to knock the knife out of her hand. At this point, she allegedly grabbed the weapon and left the residence. The man was then able to contact the authorities.

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