Sarah Horner / St. Paul Pioneer Press
LITCHFIELD, Minn.—A former deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce admitted to arranging to pay a woman for sex after finishing up work meetings this past spring, according to court records. Michael Shane Deal, 47, of Litchfield filed a petition last week to plead guilty to one count of engaging in prostitution in a public place. The gross-misdemeanor charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor per the terms of a plea agreement reached with the state, the petition says.
ST. PAUL — A St. Catherine University security guard has admitted to falsely accusing a black man of shooting him during an incident that sparked an extensive police manhunt for the made-up perpetrator this fall. On the same day Brent Patrick Ahlers was scheduled to be arraigned in Ramsey County District Court on allegations of falsely reporting a crime, the 35-year-old St. Louis Park man submitted a petition via mail to enter a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge. By filing the petition, Ahlers didn't have to attend his Tuesday, Oct. 31, court hearing.
ST. PAUL — A Minneapolis police officer threatened to hide in the bushes and shoot his sister-in-law in St. Paul, authorities say. James John Lopez, 55, was charged via warrant Friday, Oct. 20, with one count of felony-level threats of violence for the alleged conduct, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Ramsey County District Court. Lopez, who lives in St. Paul, is a longtime Minneapolis police officer.
ST. PAUL — Seng Xiong preyed upon "the open wounds" of particularly vulnerable people within the Hmong community when the Maplewood man promised them access to a new Hmong homeland in Southeast Asia in exchange for money, a federal judge said Wednesday, Oct. 11. Through his lies, the 49-year-old defrauded more than 400 Hmong people from across the United States — many of them elderly — of thousands of dollars each. Their contributions totaled about $1.7 million.
ST. PAUL — The family of a stillborn baby discarded in Regions Hospital's dirty laundry after staff promised to cremate the remains is suing the medical institution. The mother of the child, Esmeralda Hernandez, filed a lawsuit against the St. Paul hospital in Ramsey County District Court earlier this month along with several of her family members. The civil suit accuses Regions of reckless interference with a dead body. The family is seeking damages "far in excess of $50,000" for their ongoing pain related to the incident, according to legal documents.
ST. PAUL — Michael Weigel's former partner woke up last December to a stunning email from her ex. "You will never live in peace. You will live in shame and embarrassment for the rest of your life," the email said, according to the excerpt the woman read in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday, Oct. 3. It went on to detail how Weigel had plastered naked pictures of her that the two took while they were still a couple on her new boyfriend's Facebook page. The photos were attached in the email.
ST. PAUL — More than two and a half years after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy following a torrent of sexual abuse claims made against its clergy, the legal costs are mounting into the tens of millions. Details on the compensation earned to date by law firms representing parties involved in the bankruptcy proceedings were revealed Friday, Sept. 15, after the federal judge overseeing the case ordered the disclosures.
ST. PAUL—Tyanna Jabree Graham stood in a Ramsey County courtroom this week and admitted to unintentionally killing a 5-month-old boy while she was babysitting the infant last winter. The 19-year-old St. Paul woman pleaded guilty Monday to one count of second-degree murder in the death of Jamir P. Dunagan. The infant was found unresponsive Jan. 28 inside a home on the 2200 block of West Seventh Street by police officers called to the residence on a report that a child wasn't breathing.
ST. PAUL — A St. Paul man is accused of giving a concussion to a nationally known comedian last month after punching him in the face at a bar on University Avenue, authorities say. Anthony Charles Deberry, 35, then took off with the comedian's wallet, which contained about $700 as well as Josh Blue's credit cards and driver's license, according to the criminal complaint filed against Deberry on Thursday, Aug. 31, in Ramsey County District Court. Deberry faces one count of first-degree aggravated robbery in the alleged assault.
ST. PAUL — Despite her attorney's claim that a judge's letter taints her chances for a fair trial locally, Diamond Reynolds' assault case will still be heard in Ramsey County. Stating that attorney Mike Padden had failed to show any law or facts supporting his argument, Ramsey County District Judge Elena Ostby denied his request to move Reynolds' case out of the metro area. Her decision was delivered during a brief court hearing Thursday morning.