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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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

Ryan David Petersen, 37, was initially charged with second-degree murder in the death of Passauer, a 23-year-old law clerk at North Star Criminal Defense. If found guilty, the sentence was up to 40 years in prison.

Petersen though was indicted by a grand jury on three counts this week, including premeditated first-degree murder – which carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted. He was also indicted on charges of intentional second-degree murder, and possessing a firearm when he wasn't eligible to have one.

Why is a grand jury needed?

Minnesota law says only grand juries can decide to charge someone with first-degree murder, or other charges that carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

The grand jury in this case was made up of 23 randomly selected people, who meet in secret to hear evidence, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office says. At least 12 of them have to agree in order to get an indictment.

The grand jury doesn’t decide guilt or innocence. Instead, it deliberates in private to decide if there’s enough evidence to charge the accused person with a crime.

According to the charges, Petersen walked into North Star Criminal Defense and shot Passauer six times in the stomach on April 7, after Petersen had trouble reaching his lawyer. You can read the full criminal complaint here.

Next Up

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Related

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.

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.

DNA tested 16 years after a rape in St. Paul gets a match, suspect charged

St. Paul police admits the delay in the evidence being tested was "not perfect."

Video: Castile's family talks about the 'landmark decision' to bring charges

Philando Castile's family supports the decision to charge the officer Yanez with second-degree manslaughter.