Student avoids prison after pleading guilty to attack that left teaching aide fighting for his life

The former Minneapolis student pleaded guilty to two counts of assault.
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A former Minneapolis student has pleaded guilty to the brutal beating of a teaching aide that left him fighting for his life, but will avoid a prison sentence.

Corey Burfield, now 19, pleaded guilty to 1st- and 3rd-degree assault over the attack on 45-year-old Mohammed Dukuly on May 22, 2018.

Prosecutors from Hennepin County Attorney's Office argued for a prison sentence of more than 7 years, but District Court Judge William Koch agreed with Burfield's lawyer, sentencing him instead of five years on probation and a year in the county workhouse. 

Dukuly, a paraprofessional at the Harrison Education Center in Minneapolis, required lifesaving treatment following the assault by Burfield, who knocked him to the ground and punched him repeatedly in the neck and head as he tried to steal his keys.

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He was taken to a hospital and was listed in a critical condition, and speaking to the court this week he explained how the attack had affected him.

"I was independent, now I am dependent on people," he said, per the Hennepin County Attorney. "Pain is within me, I can’t move alone today. That’s the kind of pain [Corey Burfield] did on my life.”

As well as the probation and workhouse, Burfield's sentence also requires he receive mental health care and abstain from drugs and alcohol. If he violates the conditions, he could trigger a 90-month prison sentence.

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