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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin appeals murder conviction

Plus: former St. Thomas campus GOP chair pleads not guilty in sex trafficking case; where St. Paul City Council members stand on city’s rent stabilization measure; Minnesota AG Ellison sues egg producer for price gouging; and more.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin shown being led away in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty of all charges on April 20.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin shown being led away in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty of all charges on April 20.
Pool via REUTERS

In the Star Tribune, Alex Chhith writes: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Thursday filed an appeal of his murder conviction in the death of George Floyd. … Chauvin’s appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals came 90 days after his June 25 sentencing on the last day he could have done so, according to court documents. He was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin raises 14 issues with his trial. He argues that the state committed ‘prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct’ and lists several issues he has with the jury.”

The AP reports: “A St. Thomas University student accused along with a prominent Minnesota GOP donor of child sex trafficking pleaded not guilty to numerous charges Thursday in federal court. Gisela Castro Medina, the former chairwoman of the St. Paul college’s Republican Party chapter, made her initial appearance virtually before U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky Thorson, who agreed to a request by lawyers on both sides that allows Medina to await trial at a halfway house. Medina, who was arrested in Florida in August, answered a series of yes or no questions from the judge and said she understood the conditions of her pretrial release, which include GPS monitoring.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Kristen Leigh Painter writes: “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing Sparboe Farms, alleging the Litchfield-based egg producer gouged consumers during the pandemic’s initial food-buying frenzy. Sparboe is firing back, asserting the attorney general’s office either doesn’t understand how the industry operates or is mistakenly blaming it for forces outside the company’s control. It’s the latest in a string of lawsuits brought against egg producers by state attorneys general, all making similar claims of price gouging during the pandemic’s early days. None of the suits have yet led to a guilty verdict.”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “At St. Paul City Hall, at least four of the seven city council members plan to vote against a ballot measure that would cap rent increases at 3 percent annually. The mayor, who has shown no great enthusiasm for the proposal, has yet to officially take sides. On the other hand, council member Mitra Jalali, a renters’ rights advocate, is fully onboard. So is council member Nelsie Yang. … State law prevents cities from implementing rent-control measures without a citywide vote. The ‘rent stabilization’ question will be posed to St. Paul voters on the Nov. 2 ballot, and early voting is already underway in Ramsey County.”

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For MPR, Kirsti Marohn says:Nearly 900 people have been arrested during protests against the Line 3 oil pipeline, which is being built in northern Minnesota. Most were cited with misdemeanors. But many, like [Maya] Stovall, have been charged with gross misdemeanors, and some face felony charges. The number of legal cases is straining resources in the northern Minnesota counties where most of the protests took place. In addition to waiting for months for a public defender, some defendants also argue that the charges they’re facing are unfairly severe.”

Reports the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson: The Orono man charged in the crash that killed two young men, including the son of the University of Minnesota men’s hockey coach, was charged Thursday with two murder counts in addition to four previous counts of negligent and drunken driving. James D. Blue, 51, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with two counts of third-degree murder in the deaths of Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman, who were passengers in the Bentley that Blue is alleged to have driven at up to 99 miles per hour before crashing into a wooded area.”

An AP story reports:The latest surge of COVID-19 infections due to the highly contagious delta variant has not yet peaked in Wisconsin, state health officials said Wednesday. The seven-day average of new cases as of Tuesday was 2,857, nearly double what it was two weeks ago and at a level not seen since early January before the vaccine was widely available.”

A story from WJON radio reports:The World’s smallest gas station is in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  The, 3 ½-foot-by-4-foot Standard station was right downtown next to where the Graystone building is today. According to a recent article in the Detroit Lakes Tribune: ‘In 1937 the tiny station was featured in ‘Ripley’s Believe it Or Not’ publication (before it became a TV show) and was also featured in a 1949 issue of ‘Science and Mechanics’ magazine.”

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