Bloomington Infant Died Accidentally
August 8—The death last Friday of a five-month-old Bloomington girl, initially treated as suspicious, was determined to be an accident, police said Wednesday. The girl died of asphyxiation after falling off a bed. An uncle was watching her at the time and called 911, and Bloomington police arrived to find him performing CPR on the infant in the living room. The girl was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Officers subsequently searched the house and took items from the home, but police said later that neglect was not a factor in the infant’s death, and no charges were filed. —BV
Jersey Murder Sentencing
August 3—An eighteen-year-old was convicted of killing a fifteen-year-old Minneapolis youth over a rare basketball jersey. Darryl Deshon Johnson faces eight to fifteen years in prison for unintentionally shooting Courtney Brown last fall in north Minneapolis. He was originally charged with first-degree murder, which would have carried a sentence of life in prison. The trial revealed that the .22-caliber handgun Johnson fired at Brown was not the gun that killed him; defense lawyers subsequently suggested that an acquaintance of Johnson’s may have fired the fatal shot.
Brown was walking with friends to a party last September when his group encountered Johnson and others. Brown was wearing an expensive vintage Morgan State University jersey that his father had purchased for him, along with matching sneakers. After Johnson’s group forced Brown and a friend to turn over their jerseys and sneakers, Brown and the friend ran, and shots were fired. Johnson, who once described himself as a former member of the Tre Tre Crips gang, will be sentenced later this month in Hennepin County District Court. —BV
The August 2 shooting of Jerren Schaden was Minneapolis’s first homicide in more than a month, and the first of a string of five killings in five days. The numbers below are year-to-date figures for the city. Minneapolis had sixty homicides in 2006.
Date: August 2
Name: Jerren Schaden
Time: About 10 p.m.
Location: 36thStreet and Bloomington Avenue South
Details: Allegedly shot in retaliation for stealing marijuana. After the shooting, Schaden’s brother drove him to a nearby hospital; he was found dead in his car in the parking lot.
Arrested/charged: Minneapolis residents Santana J. Hart, 18, and Allen F. Hutcherson, 20, each charged with two counts of second-degree murder
Date: August 3
Name: Jeremy D. Callaway
Time: About 8:20 a.m.
Location: 14thand Irving avenues north
Details: Shot in the head while standing outside a house
Date: August 5
Time: About 2 a.m.
Location: Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue
Details: Two groups scuffled near Block E, downtown. One fell unconscious and died at the scene. Police said the fight was over women.
Arrested/charged: Arturo Hernandez, 20, arrested on suspicion of murder
Date: August 6
Name: Alison M. Daniels
Time: Unclear; discovered about 6:30 p.m.
Location: 615 Washington Ave. S.E.
Details: Shot once in head in room at the Radisson University Hotel
Date: August 6
Name: Montrell Burbridge
Time: About 8:40 p.m.
Location: Oliver and 36th avenues north
Details: Shot several times. Several small bags of marijuana found near body.
Date: August 10
Time: About 3 a.m.
Location: 18th Street and Park Avenue
Details: Man stabbed an acquaintance to death after acquaintance said he had slept with the man’s wife and fathered the man’s first child.
Arrested/charged: Noe DeLuna-DeLuna, 28, charged with second-degree murder
Alex Friedrich, St. Paul Pioneer Press
I was at the office, about to go home, when we got the word. One of the editors stood up and said, “You’re staying, and you’re staying, and you’re staying.” A few of us jumped in my car and got over to the north side of the river. We scrambled down the bank as far as we could go and started asking who had seen what.
Cell phones weren’t working, so it was pretty chaotic. We didn’t know if the story was on our side of the river or the other side. I talked with some of the school-bus people, while Fred Melo, Tim Nelson, and Dave Orrick were elsewhere. Not being able to coordinate was tough, though.
Eventually, I walked over to the Hennepin County Government Center—which is what, a mile and a half away?—for a couple of news conferences. I finished up about midnight, but had to take a taxi to my car, and that took forever.
I had been working on a story about a criminal lawsuit in Washington County and was planning to write it up the next day. At the time we got the news I was going home to have dinner with my girlfriend, so I was dressed up. I remember thinking, “Oh well, so much for these shoes.”
It wasn’t until eight days later that I got back to the lawsuit story.
One thing I remember was this guy in his fifties or so, without a shirt on, wandering back and forth, wading into the water. We heard him asking people if they had seen a red-headed girl, his daughter, I guess. He was pretty frantic. The police had to restrain him. We thought there was a story there, but then Dave Orrick heard him mumbling something about, ‘the taxman.’
Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune
I don’t think my story is as good as some others. At the moment the bridge went down I was at the dog park with my dog. I had been covering a murder trial in Hennepin County court—the twenty-three-year-old woman charged with getting her new boyfriend to kill her old boyfriend.
The truth is, the paper didn’t call me in when the bridge collapsed. The next day I went back to covering the trial. It wasn’t until Sunday that they took me off the murder trial and had me work on bridge stories — not government-related angles, but general bridge-related pieces. I did a story on the funeral of the pregnant Somali woman and her two-year-old daughter. Randy Furst took over the trial coverage. He did the story on the woman being convicted of manslaughter rather than murder.
But for eleven straight days, since that Sunday, I was doing exclusively bridge stories.
Bob McNaney, KSTP-TV
I had been in Chicago covering the rape case involving the Gopher football players. I finished Wednesday morning and flew back to the Twin Cities. I think I got a couple hours sleep before it was time to fix dinner for my two sons. We were grilling dinner when I heard about the bridge.
I remember thinking, “Here we go.” I think I ended up working thirty-seven of the next forty hours.
The Gophers rape story ran on the Tuesday before, but it was supposed to have been the first of several pieces. That didn’t happen. It was all bridge, all the time, and I knew it would be.
I thought we did a hell of a job.