Skip to main content

On Iowa caucus day, Klobuchar under increased pressure over Myon Burrell

A recent investigative article suggested the teen convicted on Klobuchar's watch may be innocent.

As Iowans prepare to choose their candidates in the first presidential caucus of the season, Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar is finding herself under pressure over a conviction dating back to her time as the Hennepin County Attorney.

It relates to the case of Myon Burrell, a black man who at the age of 16 was prosecuted for the murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in Minneapolis in 2002, later receiving a life sentence. Edwards was struck by a bullet that came through her wall while she was doing her homework.

The prosecution happened on Klobuchar's watch, and the Minnesota senator has cited her history of bringing justice to the victims of gun violence as one of her strengths during her presidential campaign.

But the results of a new investigation by the Associated Press and American Public Media Reports suggests Burrell, now 33, was wrongly convicted.

The article, which you can read here, highlights that there was no gun, fingerprints or hard evidence linking Burrell to Edwards' fatal 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.

Furthermore, alibis that Burrell gave allegedly proving he wasn't at the same were not checked by police, neither was surveillance footage that he claims would have cleared him. Even his co-defendants said he wasn't there, while there were allegations that police officers had paid cash for witness testimonies.

Since the article was published, there have been calls from activists and Burrell's family for the case to be re-opened , while the jury foreman in Burrell's case has since expressed over the then teenager's conviction.

Klobuchar was quizzed about the Burrell case on Fox News on Sunday, telling interviewer Chris Wallace she didn't know about the new evidence until she saw the AP/APM report.

"My view as someone who has worked with the Innocence Project for years is if there is new evidence, it must come forward. It must be considered immediately by the courts," she said.

Wallace also brought up Klobuchar's poor support among people of color, and has even been facing calls to suspend her presidential campaign in the wake of the revelations.

The Des Moines branch of the NAACP issued a blistering statement on Sunday, saying: "It is our position that any candidate who is running to become our next President, must be sensitive to and responsive to the needs and concerns of the Black community, as well as other communities of color.

"We find it to be unconscionable that Senator Klobuchar would repeatedly take credit for prosecuting Myon Burrell when she believed that he was guilty of murder, but will not now take any meaningful action to overturn what perceives to be a wrongful conviction of a Black child, per substantial evidence that appeared in a well-documented Associated Press article this week."

Klobuchar is currently polling 5th in Iowa ahead of the Monday caucuses.

Next Up

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.

ambulance

Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.

covid-19

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Related

flickr-klobuchar-iowa-march-2019-shaull

Amy Klobuchar asks for Myon Burrell case to be re-investigated

She faced criticism for it during her presidential run.

mike freeman

Hennepin County Attorney: Stop politicizing Myon Burrell case

Mike Freeman has come to the defense of former county attorney Amy Klobuchar.

Myon burrell

Myon Burrell to be released immediately after pardon hearing

His sentence was commuted by Board of Pardons members Gov. Tim Walz and AG Keith Ellison.

flickr-amy-klobuchar-feb-2019-by-lorie-shaull

Amy Klobuchar cancels St. Louis Park rally after protesters disrupt event

The Minnesota senator is just two days away from Super Tuesday.

flickr-amy-klobuchar-feb-2019-by-lorie-shaull

Amy Klobuchar still in the running as polls tighten in Iowa

The Minnesota senator received a boost in the polls after her debate performance.

flickr-amy-klobuchar-feb-2019-by-lorie-shaull

Democratic poll: Klobuchar leads Sanders in Minnesota

Sanders carried the state in 2016 against Hillary Clinton.

Amy Klobuchar

Candidates left to wait for results amid farce at Iowa caucuses

Only a tiny fraction of results had been reported by late Monday evening.

flickr-amy-klobuchar-feb-2019-by-lorie-shaull

Amy Klobuchar now polling in double digits in Iowa

The senator is gaining some ground in a crowded field.