Aug. 23, 2007: St. Paul cop killer Ronald Reed can't have new trial, high court rules

  • Updated: August 28, 2008 - 11:57 AM

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Ronald Reed in the 1970 shooting death of St. Paul police officer James Sackett.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Ronald Reed in the 1970 shooting death of St. Paul police officer James Sackett.

Reed was found guilty in March 2006 of first-degree murder and of conspiring with Larry L. Clark to commit first-degree murder. Reed was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of release after 17½ years, as called for by the laws that were in place in 1970.

Reed's attorney, Melissa Sheridan, had argued to the court in April that Ramsey County Chief District Judge Gregg Johnson had given the jury flawed instructions about the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

The Supreme Court said Thursday that Johnson "did not commit reversible error" when he told the jury that a defendant charged with conspiring with a "named individual could be convicted upon proof that he ... conspired with any individual."

That issue and others raised in the appeal do not compel a new trial, the court said.

 

PAT PHEIFER

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