A judge Monday rejected a plea agreement struck by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office calling for probation and no prison time for a man who dropped dumbbells, furniture and other items from his ninth-floor balcony onto vehicles passing by his downtown Minneapolis apartment building, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Michael B. Judy, 30, had agreed in December to plead guilty in District Court to felony first-degree property damage for aiming an array of heavy objects at vehicles driving by the building in the 300 block of S. Washington Avenue in early January 2023. None of the items injured anyone, but multiple vehicles were damaged, charges noted.
The plea agreement between the defense and the prosecution called for three years of probation and for Judy to be sentenced under what is called a stay of imposition. That means the conviction would have been reduced to a misdemeanor once he successfully complied with the terms of his sentence and probation.
However, Judge Amber Brennan "declined to sentence the defendant in accordance with the terms of his plea deal," said District Court spokesman Matt Lehman. "Mr. Judy then withdrew his plea."
Nicholas Kimball, spokesman for the County Attorney's Office, said in an email that the original agreement "was based on Mr. Judy's successful engagement in treatment and sobriety up to that point along with the fact that he had recently received a [downward] dispositional departure on another case [terroristic threats in Olmsted County] that had occurred after this incident. However, information that came to light related to the defendant's conduct after the agreement and prior to sentencing ultimately undermined the basis for the agreement."
Kimball's email did not elaborate on what Judy did that led to the agreement unraveling. Judy's attorney did not respond to messages from the Star Tribune.
Judy's case is now scheduled for trial on July 8.
The downtown incidents came as Judy was facing eviction for failing to pay more than $11,000 in rent since he moved into his unit in July 2022. Court records show he was evicted in late January 2023.
According to the charges:
Five calls were made to 911 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5 2023 about dumbbell weights, among various large objects, being dropped from an apartment balcony.
On Jan. 4 shortly before midnight, an airport shuttle vehicle with seven passengers was hit on the roof by a 3-pound dumbbell. A city street surveillance camera zoomed in and captured someone on Judy's balcony about that time. One 911 caller reported nearly being hit by a table and chair.
The surveillance video recorded a man purported to be Judy dropping a wine bottle, a cordless drill, a coffee maker, a coffee pot and a milk jug.
"It appeared to officers that [Judy] was purposely targeting vehicles below as they passed on the street and would wait to throw the items until a vehicle was approaching," the criminal complaint read. "Officers have serious safety concerns as [the] apartment … is approximately 115 feet up, and a weighted object falling from that distance could lead to a risk of great bodily harm or death to passing motorists, [a] bicyclist or pedestrians."
Judy's criminal history in Minnesota spans his entire adult life and includes pleading guilty in 2012 to drive-by shooting and property damage in connection with being one of three people accused of shooting BBs at dozens of car windows and a home in Rochester. He's also been convicted numerous times for domestic assault as well as for terroristic threats, theft, harassment, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.