DAUNTE WRIGHT-OFFICER TRIAL
4 jurors seated for Kim Potter trial, many more needed
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys for the suburban Minneapolis police officer charged in Daunte Wright’s death are to resume jury selection Wednesday after seating four jurors the first day. Kim Potter sat quietly in a pink sweater Tuesday as attorneys and Judge Regina Chu probed potential jurors for what they knew about the case and about their views of protests against police brutality that had become frequent in Minneapolis, even before George Floyd’s death. Potter’s attorneys say jurors will hear directly from Potter, who says she made a mistake by grabbing her handgun instead of the Taser she intended to draw.
GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS
Civil trial in Floyd case on pace for January jury selection
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal civil rights trial for the four former Minneapolis police officers indicted in the killing of George Floyd is on track to begin in January. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson earlier this month mailed out jury questionnaires ordering prospective jurors in the case to report to the courthouse on Jan. 20. The summons packet obtained by the Star Tribune shows that trial for Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane will run through mid-February. Attorneys for Kueng, Thao and Lane have argued that Chauvin should be tried separately because he has already been found guilty in a state case. They may ask Magnuson to overrule a magistrate judge who said the four should be tried together.
BODY IN DUCT
Man found dead in air duct of rural Minnesota residence
DENT, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a 40-year-old northwestern Minnesota man was found dead in the air duct of his house. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says it received a call from a family member who went to check on the man Monday morning at his residence in rural Dent. KVRR-TV reports that the family hadn’t heard from him in several days. The sheriff’s office says the death appears accidental but it remains under investigation. No further information has been released. Dent is located about 65 miles southeast of the Moorhead and Fargo, North Dakota metropolitan area.
INFANT DEATH-MOTHER CHARGED
St. Cloud woman charged in stabbing death of infant child
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A St. Cloud mother has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her infant child. Fardoussa Abdillahi is accused of stabbing her 3-month-old son, wrapping him in a plastic garbage bag and putting him in a dumpster outside her apartment building. Authorities discovered the child Sunday along with multiple knives and bedding. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office identified sharp force injuries to the child’s neck and ruled the manner of death as a homicide. The death marks the city’s fifth homicide this year, setting a new record for the city of 69,000. Abdillahi made her first court appearance Tuesday, during which the judge set bail at $2 million without conditions or $1 million with conditions.
Driver in fatal hit-and-run crash given 1 year in jail
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in St. Paul and then fled the scene has been sentenced to a year in jail. Fifty-eight-year-old Robert Kinney, of Maplewood, was sentenced Monday in Ramsey County District Court after being convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in the January death of John Benjamin. A criminal complaint says Kinney drank eight double shots of vodka over three hours at the 5-8 Tavern and Grill and left the bar shortly before the 68-year-old victim was struck. Days passed before Kinney was arrested at his home, so a blood alcohol test could not be administered to determine if he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Biden tries to reassure on COVID as he sells spending plan
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday went to Minnesota to pitch his completed infrastructure deal an a giant social spending bill that he’s still trying to get passed, but also found himself reassuring the nation he would fight the evolving COVID-19 threat without resorting to “shutdowns and lockdowns.” Biden met with students at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount before delivering a speech criticizing GOP lawmakers for opposing his social services and climate spending bill. Biden has been eager to build momentum for his agenda, but finds himself once again forced to divert attention to battling the virus.
Rep. Omar urges House GOP to address ‘anti-Muslim hatred’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is imploring House Republican leaders to do more to tamp down “anti-Muslim hatred” in their ranks. At a news conference Tuesday she played a recording of a harrowing death threat recently left for her by voicemail. Omar, one of only a handful of Muslim members of Congress, has been the subject of repeated attacks by conservative pundits and some Republicans in Congress. The most recent instance was precipitated by comments from first-term Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, a conservative flamethrower who recently likened Omar to a bomb-carrying terrorist. Omar says such speech from leading politicians has real consequences.
MINNEAPOLIS AIRPORT FIGHT
Fight breaks out among a dozen people at Minneapolis airport
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police are investigating a fight that erupted in a terminal at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport shortly after a plane had landed from Orlando, Florida. Authorities say about a dozen male and female passengers were involved in the scrape after two large groups of travelers deplaned from a Frontier Airlines flight just before midnight Friday. Punches were exchanged among several people and some of them threw stanchions and broke chairs. Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said police are reviewing evidence and he has not learned the “motivation for the fight.” The Star Tribune reports that a video of the incident, which lasted just over a minute, was posted on social media and shared by more than 7,000 people by midday Monday.
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