Minneapolis area man claims self-defense and escapes lengthy sentence

It's been more than four months since a 47-year-old Minneapolis area man suffered fatal injuries after falling into oncoming traffic. The circumstances of the man's death have been the subject of much examination and debate as witnesses claimed the deceased was pushed by a 41-year-old man who was subsequently arrested and faced charges related to causing the man’s death.

On Aug. 20, 2014, the 47-year-old man and 41-year-old man were involved in a verbal confrontation which eventually led to the 41 year old running into the street to escape the 47 year old who aggressively pursued him. As the two men prepared for a physical altercation, the 41 year old pushed the 47-year-old man who subsequently fell into oncoming traffic and was killed.

Last month, a jury found the 41-year-old man not guilty of two second-degree murder charges and guilty of one first-degree manslaughter charge. More recently a judge sentenced the man to serve "one year in the Ramsey County correctional facility, plus seven years' probation." The sentence was somewhat surprising as it was a far departure from what the prosecution deemed a "guidelines sentence," which would have resulted in the man spending the next seven or more years behind bars.

Throughout the entire trial, the 41-year-old man's defense attorney argued that the defendant acted in self-defense after he was relentlessly pursued and threatened with bodily harm. Given the sentence recently handed down, it appears as though the judge in the case agreed with this summation and that the defendant's actions were in direct response to an imminent threat.

Source: Star Tribune, "Little Canada man gets workhouse sentence for fatal shove," Anthony Lonetree, Dec. 23, 2014

Star Tribune, "Little Canada man convicted of first-degree manslaughter," Chao Xiong, Nov. 12, 2014

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