On June 8, a Minnesota grand jury indicted three men for allegedly shooting and killing a man in February. The incident took place in Benton County on Feb. 16.
According to authorities, the murder took place after the defendants, ages 20, 26 and 37, went to Checkers Bar in St. Paul with the decedent and another man. Approximately an hour later, all five men left the bar and went to the 3400 block of Old Creek Place in Sauk Rapids. At some point, the defendants allegedly shot and killed the decedent, age 25. The other man was also shot, but he survived after undergoing emergency surgery at a local hospital.
The defendants face a range of charges, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree arson and various gang-related charges. If convicted, all three defendants could be sentenced to life in prison.
Homicide, attempted homicide and other violent crimes frequently carry severe penalties in Minnesota. Defendants convicted of such crimes typically spend decades behind bars. If they are released from prison, they are burdened with a permanent criminal record that makes gaining employment difficult. However, not every murder charge leads to a conviction. Every defendant has the right to work with a criminal defense attorney and fight allegations in court. An attorney could evaluate the evidence and attempt to poke holes in the prosecution's version of events. This could ultimately lead to an acquittal. If necessary, legal counsel could negotiate a plea bargain that allows the defendant to plead guilty to lesser charges. This tactic could help the defendant obtain a reduced sentence.