When Minnesota police and prosecutors choose to arrest a suspect and file charges, we expect that they have found sufficient evidence to accuse someone of a crime. Especially with high-publicity, violent crimes, it is even more important that prosecutors don’t just throw around charges because of the serious consequences that will follow an allegation of murder.
After a man was arrested and charged with the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend, questions have been raised about whether the state had enough information to arrest, charge and prosecute him. Some think that the woman’s mother exerted excessive pressure on police to make an arrest. According to the boyfriend’s attorney, the woman met with the lead detective 28 times in one year and at least once with the chief of the police in an effort to push the police department to arrest the boyfriend.
It wasn’t just the police that the mother had targeted, however. One month after the supposed murder, the mother started using her daughter’s email and cellphone to leave disturbing messages for the boyfriend and his family. In one of the messages the mother specifically told the man to “enjoy the sunshine” while he could, possibly referencing her single-minded push to convict him of her daughter’s alleged murder.
The mother has also been sending the boyfriend and his parents packages, cards and pictures. What used to be a close-knit group has now turned into outright animosity. The mother sent the suspect’s mother a Valentine’s Day card last year calling her evil. The mother also has not denied many of these actions. She has admitted to sending the suspect and his family considerable letters, voicemails, emails and packages, but she claims that all of her communication has been civil.
It is understandable that the mother of someone who was allegedly murdered would be upset and may even do some things she wouldn’t have normally done, but there is no excuse for badgering and harassing someone just because she believes he or she is a suspect. It is certainly unacceptable for police to succumb to such pressure and bring someone in that they don’t have the evidence to arrest.
Source: San Antonio Express-News, “Slaying suspect was haunted by victim’s mother,” Craig Kapitan, Feb. 9, 2012