Judge and jury have been hearing a case in federal court in Minneapolis that could have played on “NYPD Blue.” MinnPost legal affairs reporter Judith Yates Borger has been following the trial’s developments. To read her previous reports on the trial, go here.
The jury took about four hours today to decide unanimously that St. Paul Police officer Timothy Rehak and Mark Naylon, a second defendant, were guilty of stealing money the FBI had planted in a sting operation in room 503 of St. Paul’s Best Western Kelly Inn almost four years ago.
In the wide hallway outside courtroom 12w, family members who have packed the hard wood pews of the courtroom for seven days hug each other in tears, waiting for the defendants to emerge. It seems to take a long time.
TV reporters, who appeared for the final hours of the case, mill about, cell phones to their ears, asking each other for primers on the charges. Trucks full of television equipment begin to pull up outside the federal court house in Minneapolis.
Finally, the defendants, who have been in the locked courtroom with their immediate families, push through the double doors with their attorneys. They are dry-eyed but their expressions are grim.
“Speaking for the Rehak and Naylon families, ‘No comment,'” says their attorney Kevin Short, who adds that both defendants will appeal the decision.
The scrum of reporters makes for the elevators, knowing that by tradition the prosecutors will be waiting outside just in case anyone has any questions they want to ask with the massive visage of the courthouse as background.
“We are gratified by the jury’s verdict,” says Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Dixon, who was the only lawyer in the courtroom with no grey hair. “So much good law enforcement is done every day. This conduct is not representative of what law enforcement does.”
As convicted felons, Rehak and Naylon could be sentenced for up to 20 years. No sentencing date has been set.