Minneapolis teen charged with murder in drive-by shooting

A Minneapolis teenager was accused of shooting another teen in a drive-by shooting in August 2011. The 17-year-old is currently being held in a workhouse while he awaits his trial for homicide. The teen was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of a 13-year-old boy. The teen was also accused of shooting at two other boys who were with the 13-year-old that was killed.

Police say that the 13-year-old and his friends were riding their bikes in an alley when the 17-year-old allegedly drove by and shot at them. It is unclear, however, if the suspected shooter was actually aiming at the boys or if they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other boy who was hit survived. According to media sources, the grand jury returned the indictments in early April but they remained sealed for a week after they were returned.

The indictment has touched many, including the Hennepin County Attorney. He issued a written statement in which he said, “While all murders are tragic, it seems even more heart-breaking when boys are shooting other youths.” If even the prosecuting attorney believes that charging a 17-year-old with murder is heart-breaking, it calls into question just how appropriate it is to charge youths with an adult crime.

In addition to the 17-year-old, a 16-year-old is also being held in custody because of his suspected involvement in the shooting. The court records are sealed, however, because the 16-year-old was only 15 at the time of the alleged shooting. His name is also not being released because of a state law that mandates that information on minors be kept private.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.