Man who shot law clerk dead in St. Paul gets life without parole

A man will spend the rest of his life in prison for fatally shot a St. Paul law clerk after he couldn't get a hold of his lawyer.

The man who shot and killed a law clerk that worked for his lawyer in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Ryan David Petersen, 37, of St. Paul, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty in the death of 23-year-old Chase Passauer., the Ramsey County Attorney's Office announced.

Prosecutors said Petersen had become disgruntled with his lawyer Dan Adkins – who Passauer worked for – and decided to take action when the lawyer wasn't responding to his calls or text messages on the morning of April 7.

During the trial, Petersen admitted that he was ineligible to possess a gun; that he fired the handgun eight times – striking Passauer on each occasion; that he'd sent a text stating he'd killed his lawyer; and that he threw the gun in a northern Wisconsin lake.

Petersen has been convicted of two murder charges – one first-degree premeditated, and a second-degree charge.

He's also been charged for having a firearm when he wasn't eligible to.

"We are very pleased with the judge’s ruling against the defendant who so brutally took the life of a promising young man," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a news release. "I want to thank the prosecution team as well as the St. Paul Police investigators for their hard work to bring justice to the victim’s family, friends and our community."

Initially, the 37-year-old was just charged with second-degree murder in the death of Passauer.

But Petersen's charged were upped and he was indicted by a grand jury on three counts earlier this year, including premeditated first-degree murder – which carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Next Up

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.


Suspect in St. Paul law clerk shooting could get life in prison after charges upped

The man accused of fatally shooting Chase Passauer in a St. Paul law office is now facing life in prison if he's convicted.

Charges: Man shot law clerk after his attorney didn't respond to his text

Ryan Petersen is accused of fatally shooting a law clerk after he couldn't get in touch with his lawyer, according to charges filed.

Girl shot dead in St. Paul identified as Minnetonka HS student

The girl killed in a Sunday morning shooting in St. Paul was a student at Minnetonka High School.

Antonio Richardson

Charges: Man shot dead in his St. Paul home was not the target

A 30-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Mpls. cop fired over pushing a woman will get his job back

There are some mixed feelings about his return.

Charges: Man drove stolen car straight at police before officer fired shots

A Minneapolis man is accused of driving his car directly at police.