Hennepin County Attorney: Stop politicizing Myon Burrell case

Mike Freeman has come to the defense of former county attorney Amy Klobuchar.
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With presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar coming under scrutiny for her role in the past prosecution of Myon Burrell, the former Hennepin County Attorney has received a helping hand from the current one.

In a statement posted on the Hennepin County Attorney website Monday, Mike Freeman has called for an end to the "politicization" of the Burrell case.

Burrell was 16 years old and Klobuchar the Hennepin County Attorney when he was charged with the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, who was struck by a bullet that came through her home's wall while she was doing her homework.

Klobuchar's decision to prosecute Burrell – who was handed a life sentence in a second trial after Klobuchar had left office – was called into question by an Associated Press and American Public Media investigation released last month.

The Minnesota senator's prosecutorial past has been put under a spotlight because of her run for the Democratic nomination, and the AP investigation claimed there was no gun, finger prints, or hard evidence linking Burrell to the shooting, and that the case hinged on the testimony of a single eyewitness, who was a rival of Burrell's and who gave conflicting accounts of the shooting.

But on Monday Freeman said the case should stop being treated "like a political football," shortly before an ABC News story was published featuring an interview with Burrell.

"This case is being politicized because it first arose when Amy Klobuchar was the Hennepin County Attorney," Freeman said. "The case, however, involves the murder of an 11-year old girl, and the person who has been convicted twice of committing that murder."

Freeman did say that his office has been cooperating with Burrell's new legal team, who are reviewing the evidence against him in the wake of the AP investigation.

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He however argues that many of the claims made in the AP story were also raised during the court case, and Burrell was still convicted.

The only piece of evidence he considers to be new is two people providing a third alibi for Burrell stating he wasn't at the scene of the shooting.

In the interview with ABC, Burrell said that his legal team at the time had failed to chase up on alibis and surveillance footage from a convenience store he was at when the shooting happened.

"All the way until I went to trial – I believe that they had those tapes. And so then when I went to trial and [my lawyer] never presented them or they never it was just like, you know, I didn't really know how to take it," he said.

You can read Freeman's full statement here.

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