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Jury in Potter trial ends third day of deliberations without verdict

Plus: Moorhead police say death of family due to carbon monoxide; Walz experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms; MDH says omicron variant now dominant strain of COVID-19 in Minnesota; and more.

Kimberly Potter breaking down in tears as she testifies during her trial.
Kimberly Potter breaking down in tears as she testifies during her trial.
Pool footage/Handout via REUTERS

The AP’s Amy Forliti and Scott Bauer report: “A jury pushed through its third day of deliberations with no verdict Wednesday at the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright. The court reported no questions from the jury at Kim Potter’s trial, a day after jurors asked Judge Regina Chu what to do if they couldn’t agree and she told them to continue deliberating. They got the case about midday Monday.”

Aaron Walling and Bailey Hurley from Fargo’s KVLY-TV reports: “The Moorhead Police Department says carbon monoxide is the cause of death in the Dec. 18 incident that left seven dead. Police previously identified the victims as 37-year-old Belin Hernandez, his wife 34-year-old Marleny Pinto, and the couple’s three children 16-year-old Breylin, 7-year-old Mike and 5-year-old Marbely. Also inside the home was the couple’s niece 19-year-old Mariela Pinto, and Belin’s brother, 32-year-old Eldor Hernandez.”

MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports: “Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that he is now experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive earlier this week and saying on Tuesday he was asymptomatic. He compared the symptoms to a ‘tough cold.’ … Walz discussed his health following a remote roundtable on the need to expand affordable child care options in Minnesota.”

The Pioneer Press’ Deanna Weniger writes: “A long-time Ramsey County prosecutor walked away from his job this month citing his frustration with policies he says are designed to keep offenders out of jail. He joins other prosecutors who are quitting, either due to policies that they see as more lenient on crime or COVID-related backlogs that they say pressure them to settle for a lighter sentence in order to clear cases. ‘If this is what the community wants, that’s not what I want to do for the rest of my career,’ said Richard Dusterhoft, 55, the former trial division director for the county.”

KARE-TV reports: “The Roseville Police Department has issued another plea for help to find a missing 14-year-old boy. Police first reported Izaich Mardis was missing on Dec. 15. Mardis left for school the morning of Dec. 14 but didn’t show up to class and hasn’t contacted his family since. On Dec. 23, the department shared on Facebook that they’re still actively looking for Mardis.”

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A FOX 9 story says, “The omicron variant is now estimated to be the dominant COVID-19 strain in Minnesota, state health officials said Wednesday.  The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this week omicron is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for approximately 73% of new infections last week.”

For Rochester’s KIMT-TV, Anthony Monzon reports, “Minnesota’s coronavirus test positivity rate has been trending downward, but a leading expert from the Twin Cities is warning a ‘viral blizzard’ may be ahead for all 50 states. Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, says a largely unboosted U.S. population going into the holiday season is set to create a ‘perfect storm,’ challenging health care systems from coast to coast. Unlike the regional hotspots we’ve seen in the past with the Delta variant, Dr. Osterholm believes Omicron will affect all areas of the country simultaneously.

A KSTP-TV story says, “The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with MoneyLion, an online lender, over a violation of state laws. Under the settlement, MoneyLion will cancel or forgive certain loans and provide a refund to certain Minnesota consumers. The company will also pay the state a $100,000 fine. The New York-based company failed to get licensed by the state before providing Minnesotans with loans that had interest rates up to 645%. State law requires regulated lenders to be licensed if loan interest rates are above statutorily allowed amounts.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “A Minnesota sports fan — not a ‘fair weather’ fan but a die-hard ‘Minnesota weather’ fan — has been captured in full rant mode in a now viral TikTok video. ‘You were born here, this is your curse. Suck it up, join the party. The worst party in the history of mankind. But you’re in the party, you’re on the invite list. You can’t get out,’ the fan is captured shouting, despite also using a microphone in what appears to be a small classroom. The video was posted by @therealmisspearson, who describes herself as an eighth-grade teacher, and suggesting the person caught in his angry speech is also a fellow teacher.”