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Brandon Stahl

Reporter | Newsroom
phone: 612-673-4626
Brandon Stahl covers Hennepin County courts, reporting on criminal justice, civil lawsuits, juvenile and family law. He previously worked as the investigations editor at the Duluth News Tribune, where his stories on physician malpractice and medical errors, drug abuse, tax dollar waste, sex offenders and police misconduct have won numerous state and national journalism awards.
Recent content from Brandon Stahl
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman described the charges against Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justin Ruszczyk D

Key question: Was Noor fearful during Damond shooting?

Noor's partner said he "perceived his life was in danger" and pulled his gun, according to charges.
FILE - In this May 2016 file image provided by the City of Minneapolis, police officer Mohamed Noor poses for a photo at a community event welcoming h

Grand jury testimony begins in Noor shooting case

The list of officers summoned to testify before a grand jury Tuesday indicates that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is trying to meet the legal standard to charge Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, legal experts say.
Reggie Lynch

Dates set for Lynch appeal hearing; attorney says they're too soon

Hearing dates are set for early February for suspended University of Minnesota basketball player Reggie Lynch to appeal findings he was responsible for sexual misconduct against two women.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman convenes grand jury in Damond shooting death

The Hennepin County attorney reversed course in the case of a Minneapolis police officer who shot Justine Damond in an alley after she had called 911 to report a possible crime.
Megan Cater

2 south metro women plead guilty to murder for role in fatal drug robbery

The young women avoid life in prison for a drug robbery that went awry.
Gregory Matthew Dolphin credit: Hennepin County Sheriff

Businessman suffering from brain disease sentenced to home monitoring for child porn

Greg Dolphin, 63, sentenced to year of home monitoring.
Atwater Police Chief Reed Schmidt with his then K-9 partner, Dakota.

Obituary: Reed Schmidt, Atwater's former police chief, dies at 67

Jerry Spencer remembers sitting on the Atwater City Council in the mid-1990s, conducting interview after interview in search of a new police chief for the central Minnesota town, population 1,100. Reed Schmidt stood out. Social, friendly and outgoing, "he just seemed like the man for the position," Spencer said.
Thomas Incantalupo

Ice skating coach charged with sexually assaulting 14-year-old student

Thomas Joseph Incantalupo, 47, is accused of abusing the girl, now 16, beginning in August 2015.
Attorney Ryan Pacyga, who is now representing University of Minnesota basketball star Reggie Lynch accused of sexual misconduct, held a news conferenc

Lawyer: Gophers' Lynch denies allegations, requests hearing

The appeals process would likely take weeks if not months, making it unlikely Lynch will return to the court for the university, where investigators have recommended that he should be expelled.
Reggie Lynch

Expulsion recommended for Lynch in third sex assault allegation

University of Minnesota basketball player Reggie Lynch has been recommended for expulsion after a third woman has come forward accusing him of sexual assault.
Nathan Lehman was sentenced to 61 years in prison Monday for the murder of his parents.

Man who murdered his parents in Eden Prairie gets 61-year sentence

Lehman's family filled the right half of a court gallery on Monday morning as a judge sentenced him to 61 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.
The woman whose accusations led to the suspension of Gophers basketball player Reggie Lynch isn’t the first to allege he engaged in sexual misconduc

Another Reggie Lynch accuser 'happy this kind of conduct is being exposed'

Lynch denied rape allegation and was cleared by prosecutors and police.
Gophers center Reggie Lynch was found responsible by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) in sexual misconduct on April 28, 2

Gophers' Lynch faces suspension until 2020

A University of Minnesota office investigated after an incident on April 28, 2016, in Roy Wilkins Hall, a student dorm. Unless Lynch appeals, his suspension from the campus and related activities will begin Tuesday.
Jaime Edward McClellan

Heroin dealer gets 11 years in prison in Hennepin County for overdose death

Jaime McClellan, 33, apologizes to victim's family during sentencing.
schlotfeldt, tyler,booking mugBrooklyn Park man pleads guilty for role in Minneapolis Taco Bell shootoutSummary: Tyler Schlotfeldt-Gidney, 22, faces t

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty for role in Minneapolis Taco Bell shootout

Tyler Schlotfeldt-Gidney, 22, faces three years in prison.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage increase showed their support before it was passed by City Council at City Hall, Friday, June 30, 2017 in Minneapol

Minn. Chamber, others pull out of Mpls. minimum wage lawsuit

Only Graco Inc. is left in lawsuit to prevent the city of Minneapolis from raising the minimum wage to $15.
FILE - In this April 26, 2017 file photo, Hennepin county attorney Mike Freeman appears at a news conference in Minneapolis, Minn. Freeman, a Minnesot

No decision in Damond shooting until next year, Freeman says

The county attorney had said a decision on charges was expected by Dec. 31, but the investigation isn't finished, he said.

Metro-area Massage Envy employee accused of sex assault

Two customers accused Mitchell Le Doc Ho, 28, of assault while giving them massages.
Joel Andrew Paulson

Charges: Man drunk while playing with a gun shoots, kills his friend in St. Paul

Josh Andrew Paulson, 31, is charged with manslaughter.
Abby Honold, one of the three woman raped by Daniel Drill-Mellum, told her story on September 22, 2016, in St. Paul.

Bipartisan 'Abby Honold Act' would reform training for sex assault investigators

Bill would create a training program for better police interviews of rape survivors.

Search warrant: Mother drunk, blood throughout Brooklyn Park home where newborn died

The girl's mother called police and said "she's dead," according to the search warrant application filed by police.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

County attorney apologizes for criticizing BCA in Justine Damond case

County attorney said he will "share news" about Damond shooting probe next week.
Gov. Mark Dayton defended the work of the BCA on Friday, saying: "Impugning the quality of their investigations is destructive, and detrimental in our

Gov. Dayton defends BCA after criticism of Damond probe

The governor praised the statewide investigative agency for its diligence, saying the Hennepin County attorney's criticism is "destructive."
In September, City Council member from Ward 13, Linea Palmisano, hosted an event where Mike Freeman answered questions about the Justine Damond shooti

Freeman: No evidence yet to prosecute officer in Justine Damond's death

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told a group of activists that he does not yet have the evidence to file charges in the shooting death of Justine Damond.
Former Minneapolis cop Christopher Reiter listened Tuesday as his defense attorney Robert Fowler asked Judge Fred Karasov for a lighter sentence for h

Ex-Mpls. cop given 6 months in workhouse for on-duty assault

Christopher Reiter, 36, received the maximum allowable sentence under state guidelines for delivering blow to the head of Mohamed Osman in May 2016, knocking him unconscious and inflicting brain bleeding.
In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Johnna Morrow plays the didgeridoo during a memorial service for Justine Damond in Minneapolis. Damond was killed b

Mpls. police bracing for backlash over officer in Justine Damond's death

Police chief expects heated reaction whether or not officer Mohamed Noor is charged in her fatal shooting.
Saado Ali Warsame not only sang with passion about her home country of Somalia, she agreed to serve in its Parliament.

Lawsuit by son of slain Somali activist against money transfer business is thrown out

Case alleged that big money-transfer firm helped fund killers of famed activist.

Plymouth paramedic pleads '100% guilty' to stealing painkillers

Robert Ryan Lien, 37, admitted to replacing painkiller meant for patients with saline.

Mpls. marriage, family therapist charged with having child porn

Police say man, 72, had at least 158 files on laptop.
Dr. Shane Wernsing

Hennepin County's go-to expert can sway insanity cases

Prosecutors often call on doctors like Wernsing when they want the offender to be prosecuted rather than committed.
Anenia Hare

Minneapolis woman charged with killing Thanksgiving guest for smoking crack

A Minneapolis woman was charged with second-degree murder on Monday, accused of killing a Thanksgiving guest apparently for smoking crack in her apartment without asking…
Sen. Al Franken and Abby Honold looked on in October 2017 as Beth Roberts, a retired police officer, talked about legislation aimed toward better trai

Advocate for rape victim bill distances herself from Franken

Abby Honold, a rape survivor, was working with Franken on a bill to help victims. But after allegations surfaced against the senator, Honold sought another senator to help with the legislation. Now, she's being harassed and threatened with rape.
On Thursday, Leeann Tweeden appeared on "The View" and read from what she said was a personal apology letter from Sen. Al Franken.

Dismay, support, confusion follow Franken apology for behavior

As some former allies call for a resignation, the woman who reported that Sen. Al Franken kissed and groped at her without permission in 2006 said he has sent her a personal apology.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says the trend reflects a shift in priorities away from petty thefts, loitering, minor drug offenses and similar

Focus on serious crime is driving surge in Hennepin felony cases

What's shaping up to be a record year stresses the system — from jails to courtrooms and public defenders.

Prior Lake man pleads guilty to sex assault at bar near U

A Prior Lake man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a popular bar near the University of Minnesota pleaded guilty on Tuesday. Benjamin E.…

Minneapolis school bus driver accused of raping sex worker in Bloomington hotel

A Minneapolis school bus driver is accused of raping a prostitute at knife point in a Bloomington hotel room. The sex worker told police that…
Mendota Heights police Sgt. Eric Petersen stands with 4-year-old Gabriel Abdirahman after the department threw the boy a surprise birthday party.

Surprise! Mendota Heights police throw birthday party for 3-year-old boy

Mendota Heights Sgt. Eric Petersen arranges a birthday party for a boy he met on the job.
Kenneth Sonnenfeld Jr.

Anoka County jury acquits teacher of molestation charges

Kenneth Sonnenfeld Jr., 54, had been accused of touching a student.

Blaine mother charged with passing out high on meth with kids in car

Records show child protection could have removed kids from mother's care earlier.
Trevor Schlotfeldt-Gidney

Accused gang member charged with threatening Minneapolis cop

Trevor Deontre Schlotfeldt-Gidney, 22, allegedly made the threats on Facebook after the off-duty officer would not allow Young N' Thuggin' gang members into a nightclub.

Champlin foster mother charged with injuring 7-week-old boy

Melissa Anne Sondrol is accused of causing several fractures to boy in her care.

Worker at Massage Envy in Edina charged with sex assault

A worker at Massage Envy in Edina has been charged with sexual assault after one of his clients accused him of touching her under her…
The explosion Aug. 2 at the Minneapolis school wounded nine and killed part-time custodian John F. Carlson and receptionist Ruth Berg.

Suit: Workers ran, didn't warn others before Minnehaha blast

Ruth Berg's daughter and mother blame CenterPoint Energy and contractors for her death. Their lawsuit alleges that the contractors "ran to save themselves."
Charles Beck

Charles Beck, renowned woodcut print artist, dies at 94

Charles Beck started selling his drawings in grade school for candy and marbles growing up in Fergus Falls. Some 90 years later, his prints and…
Tip left at a restaurant

Workers can't be fired for refusing to share tips, state court rules

Todd Burt worked as a bartender at Bunny's in St. Louis Park. and was told that he needed to give more of his tips to table bussers, and there "would be consequences if that did not happen."
The apartment building at the corner of 15th and Park Ave. S. where after a fire broke out Friday night and a man jumped from his third story apartmen

Charges: 'Everyone is going to die' suspect said before setting Mpls. fire

One Mpls. apartment dweller died, second hurt.
New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson seen on Aug. 10. Minneapolis-based Crown Bank has filed a lawsuit against Peterson seeking $602,726 ov

Lawsuit: Adrian Peterson owes $600,000 on defaulted loan

Former Viking still owes $600,000, says Crown Bank
Former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter, 36, arrived at court with his attorney Robert Fowler, not pictured, Thursday, March16, 2017, at

Jury convicts former Minneapolis cop of on-duty assault

Christopher Reiter kicked a domestic violence suspect in the face in May 2016.
Danny Bettcher

Despite 27 DWIs, how did Danny Bettcher get a license?

Danny Lee Bettcher had a valid driver's license when he got his 28th DWI.
Robert James Kuefler

Long dead bodies of mom, brother found in White Bear Lake man's home

Though deaths were natural causes, Robert James Kuefler accused of concealing the bodies.
Former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter, 36, right, arrives at court with his attorney Robert Fowler in March. Reiter is accused of kicki

Question of knife is focus of fired Minneapolis officer's assault trial

Christopher Reiter testifies and says he kicked man to protect partner.
Former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter, 36, right, arrives at court with his attorney Robert Fowler Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Hen

Assault trial opens for ex-Minneapolis cop caught on video kicking man in face

Christopher Reiter was caught on video kicking Mohamed Osman.
Christopher OBrien Bogan

Level 3 sex offender charged with rape, attempted rape in south Mpls.

Christopher Bogan went to prison in 2008 after a stranger rape of a teenage girl.
Police discovered the two bodies in this home on the 2200 block of Bayview Place in Orono on Monday night.

Murder-suicide suspected in hanging of woman, boy, 5, in Orono home

A woman listed as being the homeowner was involved in a custody battle.

Minneapolis VA employee charged with indecent exposure

Complaint alleges that he repeatedly exposed himself to co-workers.
A year after rape case, U says reforms are proceeding

A year after rape case, U says reforms are proceeding

Aim is "a university community that is safe and free from sexual misconduct and violence."

Plymouth police: Husband's kidnapping, ransom was a hoax

"He wanted a few days away from his wife, and this was his alibi," said Plymouth police Sgt. Keith Bird.

Man charged with attempted murder in stabbing outside North Loop bar

In the attack outside Stadium Bar and Grill, the victim had been stabbed at least 24 times.

Charges: Deadly shooting of teen at Crystal gas station was an accident

Cortez Ananias Williams, 17, told police that he was drunk when he was sitting in the back seat with Hae'veon Wesley and they decided to switch guns.

Police: Twin Cities man who overdosed on heroin met dealer via Reddit

Two men charged with murder in drug user's death.
Kayla Pederson, left, stood with a sign identifying her assailant during a march at the University of Minnesota in March.

U frat adviser suspended after e-mail criticizes rape accusers

A fraternity quickly suspended an adviser to a local University of Minnesota chapter after an e-mail he sent to members blasting rape accusers became public.

Brooklyn Park woman in coma after husband accused of stabbing her

Jethro Gboeah was charged in May with assault before he was accused of repeatedly stabbed his wife on Tuesday.

Charges: Apple Valley woman attempts robbery, then reports it to police

50-year-old Apple Valley woman in custody
Free-speech advocate Randall Tigue, shown in 2007.

Minnesota Supreme Court again suspends attorney Randall Tigue

Randall Tigue, who is best known for his adult entertainment clients, must wait two years before he can be reinstated.
Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor

BCA gets warrant to examine phones of police in Damond shooting

Search prompted by the Hennepin County attorney's office
Jury acquits after video shows cops kicking man at Vikings game

Jury acquits after video shows cops kicking man at Vikings game

The man was charged with trying to disarm a peace officer. But security video shows that as the officers walked him through a corridor they took him to the ground, then tased, kicked and punched him.

Federal jury clears Minneapolis cop in civil lawsuit

Two protesters sued officer Kenneth Tidgwell, accusing him of excessive force
Survivors of the Cedar-Riverside fire, Hersi Hassan, Ahmed Mire and Muqtar Said, went back to the scene a year later. All had serious injuries and lon

Survivors of 2014 explosion in Cedar-Riverside neighborhood file lawsuit

The cause for the Minneapolis blast still is undetermined, but victims blame CenterPoint and the building owner.
Still recovering from the death of her brother, who passed last year of cancer, May Seng Cha held a photo of her sister Mai Yer, at her home, Thursday

Fatal stabbing puts safety at downtown Mpls. parking ramps in the spotlight

Before the killing of Mai Yer Cha, parking areas near Target Field had seen a spike in violence.
Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.

BCA gets warrant for officers' training records in Damond shooting

Investigation into Justine Damond shooting continues.

Blair Charnley, journalist and adventurer who asked 'Why not?', dies at 73

He pioneered a group of Minneapolis journalists who sailed down the Mississippi and into the Atlantic Ocean in their home-built boat.
Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.

Will officer Noor ever have to give a statement on Justine Damond shooting?

He may have to talk with police internal affairs, but that information couldn't be used in a criminal case.
Former Minneapolis police officer Christopher Reiter, 36, right, arrives at court with his attorney Robert Fowler Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Hen

Trial date scheduled for ex-Minneapolis cop accused of kicking man in face

Christopher Reiter wants trial moved due to video leaking.
Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed the latest developments in the death of Justine Damond on Tuesda

After shooting, Assistant Chief Arradondo has been face of Mpls. department

Minneapolis native well-liked in community.
Judith Hawley prosecuted some of the state’s highest-profile cases, including 70 murder cases in Hennepin County.

Prosecutor retires after a career of taking on the biggest cases

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Judith Hawley is ending a 43-year career prosecuting violent crime.
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