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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
Murder charges dropped against 2-year-old's father in Mpls. drive-by shooting

Murder charges dropped against 2-year-old's father in Mpls. drive-by shooting

No one is being held responsible for the July drive-by shooting that killed 2-year-old Le'Vonte King Jason Jones and wounded Peterson's 15-month-old daughter.

Mentally ill Mpls. man who killed mom wants life insurance money

The insurance company that holds the policy has filed a lawsuit in hopes of blocking his claim.
Charges: Man brutally beat Mpls. market owner on New Year's Eve

Charges: Man brutally beat Mpls. market owner on New Year's Eve

His wife said Minneapolis police were slow to act, making the situation worse than it needed to be.

Despite change in state law, cellphone tracking warrants still under wraps

Use of surveillance devices remains secret despite law that warrants be made public.
Summit Brewing sues 2 former employees, alleging sharing of trade secrets

Summit Brewing sues 2 former employees, alleging sharing of trade secrets

Microbrewer accuses two of conspiring to sell the company's confidential trade secrets to high-level executives for "a direct competitor."

Judge rejects mental illness claims in crash that killed Bloomington city worker

Marie Jessica Hall was swigging vodka, driving 100 mph
Criminal charges in Gophers football sex case still possible

Criminal charges in Gophers football sex case still possible

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is reviewing both the Minneapolis Police and U investigations and will decide what to do next by the end of next week.

County attorney to review U report on alleged sex assault

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose office declined to press charges, said Tuesday he will review the investigation conducted by the University of Minnesota following sexual assault accusations levied against Gopher football players.
Underage Gophers recruit also part of alleged sex misconduct

Underage Gophers recruit also part of alleged sex misconduct

The U says the recruit's involvement is not a NCAA or Big Ten rule violation.
5 of 10 suspended Gophers players also are facing expulsion

5 of 10 suspended Gophers players also are facing expulsion

Four others face a one-year suspension and another could get probation in the fallout from a student's sexual assault allegation in September. None of the 10 will play in the team's bowl game.
Judge denies change of venue for alleged Fourth Precinct shooter

Judge denies change of venue for alleged Fourth Precinct shooter

Pretrial publicity doesn't meet threshold, judge rules.
Hennepin County specialty court offers path out of homelessness

Hennepin County specialty court offers path out of homelessness

HOMES program keeps people out of jail and off the streets while helping the community by reducing in drug and alcohol abuse, crimes and cost to taxpayers.
One year later, four accused in Jamar Clark protest shooting still fight charges

One year later, four accused in Jamar Clark protest shooting still fight charges

One case headed for trial; three others want charges dismissed.
Lakeville parents want high-achieving son's suicide to prompt others to get help

Lakeville parents want high-achieving son's suicide to prompt others to get help

He died by suicide Nov. 8 after a long struggle with bipolar disorder. His parents say they hope his story encourages others to seek help often and early.
Man pleads guilty in 1998 murder of young couple in Minneapolis

Man pleads guilty in 1998 murder of young couple in Minneapolis

A double murder that had gone unsolved for nearly 16 years came to a close with a guilty plea Monday. Jason Preston, 37, admitted in…
Man cleared in Cold Spring killing loses defamation case

Man cleared in Cold Spring killing loses defamation case

A jury found that KARE 11 and the St. Cloud Times defamed Ryan Larson in reports about the killing of a police officer, but also that the reporting was accurate.
One couple's three-year journey to adopt a neglected child

One couple's three-year journey to adopt a neglected child

From the day he was born, James has been severely neglected, once left near a hypodermic needle in a drug den and twice gone missing.
Officer Yanez's attorney blasts Choi's comments about Castile shooting

Officer Yanez's attorney blasts Choi's comments about Castile shooting

Thomas Kelly, a lawyer for officer Jeronimo Yanez, called John Choi's remarks to the media "unnecessary and prejudicial."
Officers' group: 'Disappointed' by charges

Officers' group: 'Disappointed' by charges

The head of the largest association representing Minnesota police officers said in a statement Wednesday that the “police community is disappointed by the charging decision…
Man exonerated after officer's killing testifies against KARE-TV, St. Cloud Times

Man exonerated after officer's killing testifies against KARE-TV, St. Cloud Times

Ryan Larson is suing for defamation after shooting death of Cold Spring officer Tom Decker.

Charge: After theft from the till, Minneapolis McDonald's employees stole it back

After a McDonald’s employee stole money from the till, three of his co-workers were determined to get it back. Now one of them has been…
Defamation trial begins today in Cold Spring officer's death

Defamation trial begins today in Cold Spring officer's death

Ryan Larson accuses KARE 11, St. Cloud Times of false statements in reporting on officer's death.
U student's story ignites broader fight in Minn., D.C. against rape

U student's story ignites broader fight in Minn., D.C. against rape

After Abby Honold's story ran in the Star Tribune, she met with U President Eric Kaler and has been in contact with the offices of Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken, where they agreed to work on the issues raised by her case.

5 Gopher players, alleged victim reach settlement; restraining orders dismissed

The dismissal clears the way for the players to participate in home games, pending team and/or university approval. The Gophers play at home on Saturday against Purdue.

Judge rules against 5 Gophers football players on restraining order's constitutionality

An attorney for five University of Minnesota players wants a judge to throw out restraining orders filed against his clients, arguing that their due process rights have been violated.
Black pedestrian stopped by Edina police officer files lawsuit

Black pedestrian stopped by Edina police officer files lawsuit

The confrontation with an Edina police officer was caught on video and it caused a national uproar. It also led to an apology by the city's mayor.
Fraternity expels two members who interfered in U rape case

Fraternity expels two members who interfered in U rape case

The national Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity's CEO said the fraternity "stands strongly against those who would commit this callous act as well as those who seek to cover it up."
After authorities did not charge rapist, U student fought back

After authorities did not charge rapist, U student fought back

Abby Honold battled to make sure her rapist was held accountable. After charges weren't filed, her search for justice would prove traumatic.

Warrantless urine tests are unconstitutional, says state Supreme Court

Urine testing "involves a greater invasion of privacy in terms of embarrassment," the court wrote.
Minn. judge takes on police use of 'military style' tactics

Minn. judge takes on police use of 'military style' tactics

Critics of police militarization hope the Hennepin County ruling at least slows the use of SWAT teams when executing search warrants.

U.S. marshal hospitalized after being hit by driver in Minneapolis

Authorities believe the marshal was struck intentionally; condition is not yet known.
Well-meaning family takes in sex offender, inciting fear and outrage

Well-meaning family takes in sex offender, inciting fear and outrage

The debate in Birchwood Village shows a problem that state leaders still have not figured out how to address: How to integrate sex offenders into a community.

Jury convicts Minneapolis man for killing his wife and her 15-year-old daughter

Gonzalo Galvan will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Obituary: Former inmate John Troyer gave others a second chance

Obituary: Former inmate John Troyer gave others a second chance

John Troyer would often sit in the front row of church dressed in tattered clothes, appearing to be homeless. Sometimes, ushers asked him to leave.…
Lakeville mom gets prison time for hiding daughters from father

Lakeville mom gets prison time for hiding daughters from father

Lakeville mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki will serve up to 233 days for hiding her two teenage daughters from their father for more than two years.
St. Cloud mall attack that injured 10 probed as terrorism

St. Cloud mall attack that injured 10 probed as terrorism

The attacker who wounded 10 inside the mall was shot and killed by an off-duty officer. The suspect's identity was revealed Sunday by his father.
Blogger served with restraining order in missing sisters case

Blogger served with restraining order in missing sisters case

Michael Brodkorb argues his First Amendment rights are being violated and that he has simply been reporting on the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was found guilty of hiding her daughters after a bitter custody battle.

Minn. Supreme Court to take up 1st Amendment issue in lunch lady sexting case

Supreme Court to take up sexting case

Minneapolis driver is charged in death of pregnant teen

Attempted traffic stop and chase end in fatal crash.
Ex-U student who raped two young women gets 6 years in prison

Ex-U student who raped two young women gets 6 years in prison

Daniel Drill-Mellum pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
An American Indian couple's struggle to get their kids back

An American Indian couple's struggle to get their kids back

They battled to get sober, then fought to regain their children from Minnesota's foster care system.
Part 1: Why does Minnesota have so many American Indian kids in foster care?

Part 1: Why does Minnesota have so many American Indian kids in foster care?

Taken from homes, American Indian children have flooded Minnesota's foster system: Less than 2 percent of children in Minnesota are Indian, but they make up nearly a quarter of the state's foster care population.
Foster care disparities growing

Foster care disparities growing

Minnesota judges place American Indian children into foster care in numbers that surpass any other state — and the breakup of Indian families is accelerating.
How one woman broke the cycle of violence to help other Indian women in Minnesota do the same

How one woman broke the cycle of violence to help other Indian women in Minnesota do the same

Amy Hamid helps women who often grew up in troubled homes, turned to drugs and alcohol, then inflicted that same chaos on their own children.
Murder charge: Mpls. dad punched his baby girl 22 times in head, chest

Murder charge: Mpls. dad punched his baby girl 22 times in head, chest

The man's hands were covered in blood when emergency responders arrived, according to a search warrant.
She survived a brutal rape, then told her story in Hennepin court

She survived a brutal rape, then told her story in Hennepin court

The Minnesota Legislature in 1988 allowed the option for those harmed by crime to make a statement at the perpetrator's sentencing. Since then, there has been a national debate as to whether it actually helps victims. The evidence is generally mixed.
Obituary: Philip Dacey, 77, was a prolific poet and an inspired teacher

Obituary: Philip Dacey, 77, was a prolific poet and an inspired teacher

On the first day of his introduction to poetry class, Philip Dacey often had his students shout “POETRY SUCKS!” Over and over again they would…
Lakeville teen describes the day she and her sister went missing

Lakeville teen describes the day she and her sister went missing

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki subpoenaed her 18-year-old daughter to testify on the fourth day of a trial where she's facing six felony charges of deprivation of parental rights.
July 15: Philando Castile was caught up in cycle of traffic stops and fines

July 15: Philando Castile was caught up in cycle of traffic stops and fines

A pattern that some call common also raises questions about the sheer volume of traffic stops for a driver without a serious criminal record.
Philando Castile's mom asks for no protests at son's funeral

Philando Castile's mom asks for no protests at son's funeral

Philando Castile's mother and sister opened up about their shock and grief since his violent death last Wednesday. A lawyer for the family says a lawsuit is imminent.
Officer's lawyer: Castile pulled over because he matched robbery suspect

Officer's lawyer: Castile pulled over because he matched robbery suspect

Family members and attorney for family say suspicion doesn't justify officer's use of deadly force.
St. Anthony chief rejected expert's concern about traffic stops

St. Anthony chief rejected expert's concern about traffic stops

A well-known gun-rights advocate says he told the ex-St. Anthony police chief that he might have a serious problem with how the department conducts traffic stops. But the chief, he said, dismissed his concern.
St. Anthony officers who made traffic stop are longtime friends, former classmates

St. Anthony officers who made traffic stop are longtime friends, former classmates

Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser graduated together in 2010. Two years later, both wore the gun and badge for the St. Anthony Police Department — their first job in law enforcement.
Social worker wanted girl out of Bemidji foster home year before death

Social worker wanted girl out of Bemidji foster home year before death

Bemidji foster father is accused of drowning 2-year-old Kira Friedman.
Care worker at Northland Recovery Center abused two teens, DHS finds

Care worker at Northland Recovery Center abused two teens, DHS finds

Report finds procedures are adequate but were not followed.
Minnesota foster parents are getting burned out, cleaned out

Minnesota foster parents are getting burned out, cleaned out

More challenging kids, funding cuts are creating a shortage in a time of dire need.
New law would have ruled out foster father held in girl's death

New law would have ruled out foster father held in girl's death

Nathan Daniel Jackson's criminal record of fifth-degree assault and theft would have prevented him from being a care provider.
Charges: Girl, 2, in Minn. foster home drowns in care of admitted drug user

Charges: Girl, 2, in Minn. foster home drowns in care of admitted drug user

Suspect's Bemidji home wasn't licensed for foster care.

Despite abuse reports, Dakota County left kids with parents

County officials say Apple Valley case highlights the value of a new approach.

Spike in child abuse reports is overloading Hennepin County

Abused children are stranded as foster homes and shelter beds fill up.

Mpls.-based Council on Crime and Justice abruptly shuts down

Employees say they have not received their last paychecks.

Caregiver accused of sexually abusing girl was on hiring exclusion list

The operator of a child treatment center failed to notice that the 25-year-old was barred from working there.
Obituary: Dale Nathan, family court critic, dies at 81

Obituary: Dale Nathan, family court critic, dies at 81

If not for Dale Nathan, two Lakeville teens missing for more than two years may never have been found and reunited with their father. Not…
Ranch owners say they made no effort to hide runaway Rucki teens

Ranch owners say they made no effort to hide runaway Rucki teens

But their father says the couple had no right to keep the girls.
Court upholds conviction in death of Eric Dean, 'the boy they couldn't save'

Court upholds conviction in death of Eric Dean, 'the boy they couldn't save'

The 4-year-old boy's death has led to numerous child protection reforms.

Abused children in Minnesota are waiting too long for help

Counties with slow response times will soon see penalties.
Once-missing Lakeville girls are back home with their father

Once-missing Lakeville girls are back home with their father

Samantha and Gianna Rucki have moved back into their Lakeville home, readjusting to family life after the teenage sisters went missing for two and…

Lawsuit seeks to overturn Indian child welfare law

Law makes it harder to remove kids from abusive, neglectful homes, group argues.

Charges dropped against Mpls. parents whose 6-week-old child died

Judge says prosecutors failed to prove their case against a Minneapolis couple whose 6-week-old daughter was found face down in a laundry basket.
Obituary: Mike Berkus' love of collecting grew into a career

Obituary: Mike Berkus' love of collecting grew into a career

As a boy in the 1950s, Mike Berkus would often stand waiting outside the tunnel of the old St. Paul Saints stadium in Lexington Park,…
Ranch owners, woman charged in hiding of Rucki sisters

Ranch owners, woman charged in hiding of Rucki sisters

The owners of a western Minnesota horse ranch and a St. Cloud woman are charged with hiding Gianna and Samantha Rucki for two and half years before they were found last month.
Rucki sisters headed to reunification program after shunning dad

Rucki sisters headed to reunification program after shunning dad

The runaway Lakeville sisters who had been missing for two and a half years will be sent to an intensive out-of-state reunification program after refusing to live with their father.
Teens were home-schooled during years hidden on Minn. ranch

Teens were home-schooled during years hidden on Minn. ranch

The sisters were dropped off at a Herman, Minn., ranch four days after they ran away in the midst of a custody dispute, according to the criminal charges.
Charge: Mother hid runaway Lakeville girls at horse ranch

Charge: Mother hid runaway Lakeville girls at horse ranch

Prosecutors accuse Sandra Grazzini-Rucki of "particular cruelty."
Police: Missing Lakeville sisters found at western Minn. horse farm

Police: Missing Lakeville sisters found at western Minn. horse farm

Two Lakeville teenage sisters missing since April 2013 have been located at a horse farm in western Minnesota, after police executed a search warrant Wednesday afternoon.
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