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David Chanen

Reporter | Courts and criminal justice
phone: 612-673-4465
David Chanen covers Hennepin County and appellate courts, and legal and criminal justice issues.
Recent content from David Chanen

Stearns County files in Jacob Wetterling case to be released June 5

More than 37,000 pages of investigative reports will be made public.
Judge officially rules 6 people as heirs to Prince's fortune

Judge officially rules 6 people as heirs to Prince's fortune

More than a year after Prince's death, a Carver County judge has officially determined that the musician's sister and five half-siblings are heirs to his massive fortune. Prince left no will.
5 more carfentanil-related ODs confirmed by Hennepin County medical examiner

5 more carfentanil-related ODs confirmed by Hennepin County medical examiner

Authorities continue to investigate the source of the deadly drug.
Consecutive life sentences upheld for then-teen shooter in 2010 Seward Market slayings

Consecutive life sentences upheld for then-teen shooter in 2010 Seward Market slayings

Mahdi Ali, then 16, killed three men during robbery of Minneapolis store.
The Rev. Mark Thamert, a St. John's University institution

The Rev. Mark Thamert, a St. John's University institution

Thamert died April 29 in the retirement center at St. John's Abbey. His cancer was diagnosed in 2014, and he offered up his illness as a final lesson plan.
Former nonprofit CEO Bill Davis sentenced to 4 years in prison

Former nonprofit CEO Bill Davis sentenced to 4 years in prison

Former Minneapolis nonprofit CEO Bill Davis was sentenced Friday to 4 years in federal prison for misspending more than $800,000 on hotels, meals, a car and a trip with his fiancée — money intended to help low-income people.
Sex tourism case yields unprecedented nearly $1M judgment for woman

Sex tourism case yields unprecedented nearly $1M judgment for woman

Panyia Vang's award from federal jurors in Minneapolis came after a three-day trial.
Battle over Prince estate plays on

Battle over Prince estate plays on

Judge may make formal decision on the musician's heirs, though some object.

Carver County man dies in ATV accident

Kevin L. Jorgensen, of Camden Township, had been riding on an ATV track built on his property when he lost control and flipped the vehicle about 7 p.m. Monday.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office boosts info-sharing with businesses

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office boosts info-sharing with businesses

It's the 10th agency nationwide to launch own Shield program.
Lighted-up Lowry Avenue Bridge often shines a personal message

Lighted-up Lowry Avenue Bridge often shines a personal message

Since the reopening in 2012, more than 100 groups have been honored with unique colors.
Attorneys for officer in Castile shooting ask Minn. high court to move trial

Attorneys for officer in Castile shooting ask Minn. high court to move trial

Jeronimo Yanez's lawyers argue that statements by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Gov. Mark Dayton require the change.
Minnesota law enforcement chasing new, deadly opioid

Minnesota law enforcement chasing new, deadly opioid

Carfentanil, a white powder that looks similar to other opioids, can't be diluted enough to make it safe for humans, said Ken Solek, the DEA's assistant special agent in charge in Minnesota. Little medical research exists on the drug, but Solek described it as "fentanyl on steroids" — and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Mpls. mayor had 90 minutes' notice on 4th Precinct pick

Mpls. mayor had 90 minutes' notice on 4th Precinct pick

In the latest sign of the leaders' tense relationship, Hodges is said to have told Harteau to undo the appointment of John Delmonico, or Hodges would undo it herself. Harteau left the task to the mayor.
Minnesota AG, DEA urge participation in prescription drug take back day

Minnesota AG, DEA urge participation in prescription drug take back day

More than 100 locations will be available for pill drops in state Saturday
Prince got Rx for oxycodone under friend's name, warrants show

Prince got Rx for oxycodone under friend's name, warrants show

Court documents unsealed Monday do not reveal the source of fentanyl, the drug that killed the star musician.
Carver County plans to unseal search warrants into Prince's death

Carver County plans to unseal search warrants into Prince's death

State and federal investigation is ongoing a year after his death from an accidental drug overdose.
ICE suspends report of uncooperative police agencies, Stanek says

ICE suspends report of uncooperative police agencies, Stanek says

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is suspending its weekly list of law enforcement agencies they say do not cooperate with requests to detain undocumented immigrants "due to a pattern of significant errors," according to Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
Hennepin County team tracks down answers to what causes fires

Hennepin County team tracks down answers to what causes fires

Dedicated firefighter leads 19-member investigative team in Hennepin County.
Prince divorce attorney seeking $600,000 unpaid bill

Prince divorce attorney seeking $600,000 unpaid bill

Divorce attorney's $600,000 claim was rejected once, but he wants to challenge the decision.
Defense argues to move trial for officer who shot Philando Castile

Defense argues to move trial for officer who shot Philando Castile

It's unclear whether Ramsey County District Court Judge William H. Leary III will issue decisions on Tuesday or at a later date on several motions filed by the defense and counter-motions filed by the prosecution.
Heroin tainted with elephant tranquilizer tied to 5 Minn. deaths

Heroin tainted with elephant tranquilizer tied to 5 Minn. deaths

Five people have died in Minnesota from overdoses of heroin laced with carfentanil, a drug from China that is federally approved to immobilize large animals such as elephants for surgery.
Minnesota wineries fight state law requiring homegrown grapes

Minnesota wineries fight state law requiring homegrown grapes

Alexis Bailly in Hastings, the state's first vineyard, and Next Chapter Winery in New Prague claim the ban protects the state's grape industry from competition.
Warrant: Jim Surdyk hung up on state official during illegal sales

Warrant: Jim Surdyk hung up on state official during illegal sales

Selling liquor on Sunday ended up costing the store a one-month suspension and a $2,000 fine.
Hennepin County sheriff disputes inclusion on ICE inmate noncompliance list

Hennepin County sheriff disputes inclusion on ICE inmate noncompliance list

Hennepin County wrongly included as not complying with law, Rich Stanek says.
Hennepin County adds staff in effort to fight human trafficking

Hennepin County adds staff in effort to fight human trafficking

Hennepin County Board, sheriff's office negotiate a new plan of attack.
Slices of Excelsior history up for sale after city replaces meters, street signs

Slices of Excelsior history up for sale after city replaces meters, street signs

Hundreds of parking meters and street signs from decades ago have been put up for sale.
Plagued by violence, Stargate Nightclub in Maplewood closed permanently

Plagued by violence, Stargate Nightclub in Maplewood closed permanently

The Stargate Nightclub in Maplewood closed permanently this week following a shooting that injured five people last month. The City Council already voted unanimously to…
Anoka County piloting innovative treatment of jail inmates on heroin

Anoka County piloting innovative treatment of jail inmates on heroin

Addicted inmates will be offered a prescription drug that lessens their cravings in hopes of focusing on their recovery once they're released.
Yearlong effort takes on human trafficking in Eden Prairie

Yearlong effort takes on human trafficking in Eden Prairie

Three-pronged approach to help victims and go after johns and pimps netted 27 arrests.
Bill Kuross, a tennis and squash star and championship Mpls. high school coach, dies at 87

Bill Kuross, a tennis and squash star and championship Mpls. high school coach, dies at 87

Bill Kuross, a tennis and squash star who helped coach Washburn High School to a city conference championship in football in the 1960s, was known as much for his approachability as for his skills on both field and court.
Trump's presidency has become cash cow for social activists

Trump's presidency has become cash cow for social activists

Trump's election spurred many to give time and money to social causes.
Hennepin County renews push to slow heroin overdoses

Hennepin County renews push to slow heroin overdoses

Hennepin County enlists range of allies to educate public on opioid deaths in a new yearlong initiative.
Man who wheeled dying mother to bank pleads guilty

Man who wheeled dying mother to bank pleads guilty

David Vanzo reported his mother dead hours after wheeling her into a bank.
Prince relatives say tribute concert was seriously mismanaged

Prince relatives say tribute concert was seriously mismanaged

New court filings reveal the extreme complexity involving the handling of the musician's estate.

St. Louis Park attorney indicted on distributing child porn

A St. Louis Park attorney was indicted on charges of distributing child pornography. Ian Laurie, 48, of Maple Grove, used a peer-to-peer program to share…
Gang member charged in grandmother's crossfire slaying in Mpls.

Gang member charged in grandmother's crossfire slaying in Mpls.

The 20-year-old suspect, Joshua Ezeka, made a brief appearance in court, and a warrant was issued for the driver of the getaway car.

Mpls. officer charged with felony assault for shooting at car

Officer Efrem Hamilton was relieved of duty following the incident.

Appeals court says giving fingerprint to unlock phone doesn't violate rights

Appeals judge says suspects can be com­pelled to give print, as with blood sample.
Prince divorce file shows luxe lifestyle, dispute over videos, jewels, photos

Prince divorce file shows luxe lifestyle, dispute over videos, jewels, photos

The Star Tribune moved to unseal the files after questioning whether they would shed light on why Prince was taking painkillers, any potential heirs, or the value of his estate.
Hennepin County sheriff volunteer special deputies give back and protect community

Hennepin County sheriff volunteer special deputies give back and protect community

The deputies worked more than 23,000 hours last year.
Court holds off determining Prince's legal heirs, picks firm to oversee estate

Court holds off determining Prince's legal heirs, picks firm to oversee estate

Filings in Carver County District Court raised questions of conflicts of interest in the management of the estate.

Disabled Stillwater inmates sue over discriminatory dining accommodations

Four have lost more than 20 lbs. each after officials stopped delivering meals.
Hennepin Co. sheriff: Office's opioid overdose kits are defective

Hennepin Co. sheriff: Office's opioid overdose kits are defective

Instead of spraying a mist of Narcan into the nose, the applicator sends out a straight liquid stream, delaying the effectiveness by several hours.
Freeman won't file charges in alleged Gophers sex assault

Freeman won't file charges in alleged Gophers sex assault

A review of the case didn't uncover any significant new evidence, said County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Minn. commission votes down drug-sentencing change

The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission voted down a proposal Friday that would have changed how new drug sentences are determined. In August, new landmark drug…
Fresh from jail, man allegedly steals idling car in Mpls. full of kids

Fresh from jail, man allegedly steals idling car in Mpls. full of kids

Samuel McFarlane was released from jail just hours before he stole the vehicle on Christmas Eve, charges say.

Minn. teacher, husband found dead had sexually abused 10, case file shows

Facing criminal charges, the couple ended their lives on a beach in Washington state

Ramsey, Hennepin counties differ in sex-trafficking penalties

Ramsey has dealt out harsher sentences than Hennepin since 2011 Safe Harbor law.

Landmark state drug law changes come under late debate before sentencing commission

Advocates say new, lesser sentences should apply to those already doing time.
Hennepin County warrant sweeps capture several on most wanted list

Hennepin County warrant sweeps capture several on most wanted list

They are semiannual and costly to organize but cleared thousands of cases last year.

Grand jury concludes Eagan police officer justified in deadly shooting

Suspect ignored, fired shot at officers responding to a call.
Patients sue St. Cloud cancer center, alleging negligent radiation therapy

Patients sue St. Cloud cancer center, alleging negligent radiation therapy

At least a dozen people suffered injuries because of error-filled radiation plans.
After probe into investigation tampering, Inver Grove Heights police chief to resign

After probe into investigation tampering, Inver Grove Heights police chief to resign

Larry Stanger had been accused of tampering with an investigation.
Man charged with first-degree murder in killing at Burnsville Dollar Tree

Man charged with first-degree murder in killing at Burnsville Dollar Tree

Grant D. Hendrickson, 27, of Rosemount, killed Donald Hortsch and attempted to kill a 27-year-old man who was left paralyzed on Nov. 7.
Murder charges: Repeat felon burglarized 95-year-old Anoka man's home

Murder charges: Repeat felon burglarized 95-year-old Anoka man's home

The victim lived on his own; the suspect took only a clock and pocket watch.

Woodbury police seek input ahead of body camera launch

Woodbury police are preparing to launch its body camera pilot project and seeking public input. Over the next 45 days, the city will hold a…
Parents taking a last chance to find son missing for 26 years

Parents taking a last chance to find son missing for 26 years

After 26 years, police rekindle the search for Christopher Kerze, and ask for hunters' help Up North.

3 from Fla. charged in credit-card skimming at Mpls. gas station

A leading state official calls credit card skimming an emerging problem in Minnesota.
Minnesota judge lifts coverage ban for transgender surgeries

Minnesota judge lifts coverage ban for transgender surgeries

Ramsey County Judge William Leary rejected the state's claim that the coverage ban for those on medical assistance was because of budgetary constraints.
Group honored for fighting crime on Lake St. in Minneapolis

Group honored for fighting crime on Lake St. in Minneapolis

Phillips neighborhood residents and businesses use court watch to give judges impact statements before sentencings.
Man arrested in Dollar Tree shooting has violent criminal past

Man arrested in Dollar Tree shooting has violent criminal past

Motive still unclear in Monday's fatal shooting of 69-year-old man from Rosemount at a Dollar Tree store.
One dead in shooting at Burnsville Dollar Tree; suspect arrested

One dead in shooting at Burnsville Dollar Tree; suspect arrested

Police dispatch audio said one shot in the head, the other in the torso.

Minnesota jail inmates with disabilities face barriers with no regulations

Deaf inmates' lawsuit prompts other jurisdictions to take a closer look at protocols.
Politics played no role in deputies sent to North Dakota pipeline protest, sheriffs say

Politics played no role in deputies sent to North Dakota pipeline protest, sheriffs say

Three metro counties sent 40 deputies for a week to assist in public safety.
Minneapolis officers cleared in shooting of Jamar Clark

Minneapolis officers cleared in shooting of Jamar Clark

The Minneapolis police officers involved in the November 2015 fatal shooting of Jamar Clark did not violate department policies and will not face discipline, according to Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.
Settlement will change how deaf are treated at four county jails

Settlement will change how deaf are treated at four county jails

Advocates hope the new policy will be instituted statewide.

Minnesota finally gets special funding to fight drugs

Metro counties team up with Wisconsin to curb the flow of opioids.
Hennepin County issuing debit cards for inmates' cash

Hennepin County issuing debit cards for inmates' cash

The new system will both cut costs and make life easier for those being released.
Charges against Backpage.com CEO could put dent in local human trafficking

Charges against Backpage.com CEO could put dent in local human trafficking

Some in law enforcement in Twin Cities hope charges against CEO will curb trafficking.
Man, two teens dead after south Minneapolis domestic shooting

Man, two teens dead after south Minneapolis domestic shooting

Police say that a man and a boy and girl in their early teens were shot and killed early this morning in south Minneapolis' Wenonah neighborhood, and that an adult female was wounded.
Castile shooting goes to Ramsey County for charging consideration

Castile shooting goes to Ramsey County for charging consideration

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has turned over its investigation of the officer-involved fatal shooting of Philando Castile to the Ramsey County attorney's office for charging consideration.
30,000 opioid deactivation pouches being distributed in Minn.

30,000 opioid deactivation pouches being distributed in Minn.

30,000 drug deactivation pouches being distributed for in-house disposal of prescription opioids.
Off-duty officer kills man who stabbed 8 at mall in St. Cloud

Off-duty officer kills man who stabbed 8 at mall in St. Cloud

St. Cloud police chief William Blair Anderson said an off-duty officer from another jurisdiction confronted and killed the suspect. He said the suspect — who was dressed in a private security uniform — reportedly asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim before assaulting them, and referred to Allah during the attacks.
Covanta sues Hennepin County over downtown Minneapolis garbage burner

Covanta sues Hennepin County over downtown Minneapolis garbage burner

At stake is a $25.5M contract with facility's current operator.
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