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Prosecutors seeking 30-year sentence for Chauvin; defense asks for probation

Plus: legislative Republicans renew push to end Walz’s emergency powers; hundreds gather in Minneapolis for funeral of 6-year-old Aniya Allen; one of state’s most successful high school hockey coaches resigns amid investigation; and more.

Derek Chauvin depicted sitting in court on the first day of jury selection.
Derek Chauvin depicted sitting in court on the first day of jury selection.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

The Associated Press’ Amy S. Forliti writes: “Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, but a defense attorney is asking that Derek Chauvin be sentenced to probation and time already served, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced June 25 following his conviction on murder and manslaughter charges. Judge Peter Cahill previously ruled there were aggravating factors in Floyd’s death. That gives him the discretion to sentence Chauvin above the range recommended by state guidelines, which top out at 15 years. … Defense attorney Eric Nelson cited Chauvin’s age, lack of a criminal record, and support from family and friends in requesting a sentence of probation and time served. He said Chauvin, 45, was the product of a ‘broken’ system.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports, “With a special session coming up mid-month, Republicans in the House and Senate are pressing DFL Gov. Tim Walz to end the emergency powers he first declared over a year ago, but a spokesperson for Walz says the powers are still needed. The Republicans say the COVID-19 emergency is over and Walz should no longer be able to take action on matters without legislative consent. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said Wednesday that there were Republican bills introduced last month, including one passed by the Senate, that would end the emergency in an orderly way.”

KSTP-TV’s Brandi Powell writes: “A 6-year-old girl was remembered by family, friends and an entire community Wednesday. Aniya Allen was shot while riding in the back of a car and died days later. On Wednesday, loved ones said their final goodbyes at Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis. Aniya Allen’s mother said she hopes people will remember all of the positive things her daughter brought to the world.… Aniya’s final resting place will be at Lakewood Cemetery. Funeral organizers say the family wanted her to be near lake Bde Maka Ska. They say that’s the last place Allen was playing.”

In the Duluth News Tribune, Tom Olsen reports, “A Donald Trump supporter who was seen on video striking a photojournalist before the then-president’s Duluth rally last fall has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. Duane Waldriff, 71, of Lamberton, Minnesota, entered the plea to a count of disorderly conduct at a virtual hearing Friday in State District Court in Duluth. WCCO-TV photojournalist Dymanh Chhoun was recording Waldriff as he confronted a group of protesters ahead of Trump’s visit to the Duluth International Airport on Sept. 30.”

In the Star Tribune, Jana Hollingsworth and David La Vaque say, “Mike Randolph, one of the state’s most successful high school hockey coaches, has resigned amid an investigation. Duluth school district spokeswoman Katie Kaufman confirmed the resignation Wednesday of Randolph, who coached the Duluth East boys’ hockey team for 32 years. In response to a records request filed by the Star Tribune in early May, the district Tuesday said Duluth East hockey coach was under investigation by outside firm Terch & Associates, a human resources consulting firm in Duluth. The nature of the inquiry stemming from complaints was not revealed. Randolph’s attorney, Tim Andrews, declined to comment Wednesday, but said Randolph was expected to hold a news conference Friday.”

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In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes: “A Watertown man was sentenced to 12½ years in prison Wednesday for fatally shooting another driver following a May 2020 traffic crash. Anthony Trifiletti, 25, claimed self-defense in the death of 39-year-old Douglas Cornelius Lewis, who was shot after an argument following a minor collision near U.S. Highway 61 and Burns Avenue in St. Paul. The first trial in March resulted in a mistrial, but a second jury in April convicted Trifiletti of second-degree unintentional murder. … Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Gilligan Jr. said the state Supreme Court has rejected that notion that a defendant deserves leniency because some of the elements of self-defense were present.”

For MPR, Kirsti Marohn reports, “The state Department of Human Rights has reached a settlement with the company that operates the Minnesota Renaissance Festival over an alleged workplace sexual assault. The department says Mid-America Festivals Corporation violated state civil rights law by failing to provide a safe work environment free from sexual assault and harassment. An investigation found probable cause that the festival’s artistic director raped a freelance photographer on the festival grounds in Shakopee in 2017. It also determined that the festival had an ineffective sexual harassment policy that the artistic director repeatedly violated.”

WCCO-TV says: “A Wayzata man faces more than three years in prison for his role in burning a Wells Fargo bank in south Minneapolis amid last year’s unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Thirty-year-old Marc Gonzales was sentenced to 37 months in prison Wednesday, followed by three years of supervised release, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Gonzales poured gasoline onto the Wells Fargo bank at 3030 Nicollet Avenue South on May 28, 2020, while others chanted, ‘Burn it down,’ according to the attorney’s office.”

At The Hill Rachel Frazin and John Kruzel say, “A federal judge in South Dakota on Wednesday denied a bid by the state’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day after her request for a permit was denied by the Biden administration. In a 36-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange declined to enter a preliminary judgment in Noem’s favor, finding that her suit against federal officials was unlikely to ultimately prevail.”

At The Daily Beast Will Sommer and Aswin Suebsang tell us, “Donald Trump now has the notion in his head that he could return to the White House in August. But the twice-impeached former president isn’t getting that idea from constitutional scholars or his attorneys. Instead, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell apparently inspired him. ‘If Trump is saying August, that is probably because he heard me say it publicly,’ Lindell told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. … two people close to Trump told The Daily Beast, the ex-president had begun increasingly quizzing confidants about a potential August return to power. What’s more, he claimed that a lot of ‘highly respected’ people—who Trump did not name—have been saying it’s possible. Both of these sources said they decided not to tell the former president what they were thinking, which was that it’s not going to happen.”