Scarsella Trial – Part Nine: Defense Rests & Closing Statements

Minneapolis, MN – Avowed racist Allen ‘Lance’ Scarsella shot and wounded five unarmed African-Americans at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest on November 23, 2015. He was found guilty of twelve felonies for the mass shooting. He went on trial in late January and was found guilty on all charges levied against him on February 2, 2017.

Part Nine of our comprehensive report-backs from the Scarsella trial features the final witness testimonies and the closing statements.

To see our first eight reports from the Scarsella trial – Visit: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight

[Content Advisory: some of the language seen in this article may be disturbing and offensive to our audience.]

Watch the video below for a timeline of events that led to the shooting:


WITNESS TESTIMONY – DAY ELEVEN (JANUARY 31)

The morning after Scarsella took a full day on the stand, Elizabeth Werner was called to testify by the defense. Elizabeth was Julio’s girlfriend at the time of the attack and still talks with him “a couple times a week.” She was present at Julio’s residence when Scarsella, Gustavsson, Backman, and Macey arrived after the mass shooting that Scarsella had just committed.

Werner explained that Julio said “something’s happened … come downstairs and stay in my room.” She said she went straight to the bedroom, but when she later went to the kitchen she noticed four young men and observed that Suarez was making sure the four were okay and giving them water.

She spoke of Gustavsson and said she noticed that the “everyday white guy … was bleeding from his mouth” and “was very upset … seemed very shaken and rattled.” Werner said that Gustavsson “really wanted to talk to his mom because his glasses were broken.

Said said Scarsella had “obviously been crying” and he was red-faced and holding his head. She testified that Suarez explained to her that “things got out of hand” and the men had been attacked with a metallic object. She said that Macey was silent, not saying a word, with his hands in his pockets, hood over his head and was possibly “in shock.” They “all appeared shaken,” upset and confused, she testified. They were like this for about 10 to 15 minutes before Suarez urged them to call the police.

On cross-examination, Werner was asked if she had read any media reports, to which she replied, “I’ve heard a few in passing,” explaining that she heard a piece on MPR and heard that Gustavsson had testified.

Werner said that she spoke to Sgt. O’Rourke on November 27, 2015, regarding Gustavsson having said that he was punched a number of times and also that someone was placed in a chokehold when they were trying to leave. She further stated that Scarsella claimed to have stopped to help Gustavsson get up and when a crowd started charging at them, that he “saw a man reaching for a pistol.

During re-direct examination, Werner stated that Suarez attempted to make sure they all stayed calm while they were at his place. She explained that during her interview with O’Rourke she had not directly quoted Scarsella about the weapon, but said that he claimed to have seen “something shiny.

On re-cross, she was confronted with the 16-page transcript of her conversation with O’Rourke, having pointed out that she never before said “metallic object” to him nor the county attorney’s office on January 6, and never stated that Scarsella had been crying. She had said that Scarsella was reaching for a pistol in his waistband. She stated that she had been in touch with Suarez about twice a week, but said she had never spoken to him about the incident.

On re-re-direct, Heinrich stated that she talked to Sgt. O’Rourke mostly about Suarez in general and not about the night of the incident. Werner said that O’Rourke was interested in making Suarez seem like “an obsessed gun owner who was unstable and unsafe.” Werner said that the four perpetrators were “a compilation of confused people,” and admitted that she did not really know what happened.

Assistant Hennepin County attorney Chris Freeman asked Werner, who is an English major, “Is this a creative writing thing you are doing with Sgt. O’Rourke?” while he pointed to page five of the transcript. Werner was excused from the stand.


Deputy Jason Hughes of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office took the stand next. On November 24, 2016 he was assigned to the investigative unit in which he had worked for the previous seven years, working shootings and narcotics. He learned that there was an incident at “a protest going on centered at the 4th Precinct” and “two individuals turned themselves into the HCSO stating that they were witnesses,” first calling at around noon then coming in around 1:30 pm. The two individuals were Nathan Gustavsson and Daniel Macey.

Nathan Gustavsson and Daniel Macey at a /k/ board meet-up

Hughes explained that even though they were there for about an hour, “the interview was short, they said they didn’t want to talk about the incident without an attorney present.” He noticed that Gustavsson had “apparent injuries to his head and face [and had] some blood on his clothing as well.

Defense attorney Peter Martin asked, “Did he tell you details about the assault?” Hughes replied that Gustavsson “claimed he was assaulted in North Minneapolis.” He explained that EMTs came, Deputy Schwartz took pictures of the injuries, and MPD came to retrieve the witnesses.

On cross-examination Freeman asked about the facial injuries because Hughes said that Gustavsson was really bruised up. It was mentioned how international the news was. Gustavsson never gave them the location of his vehicle nor explained how he got down there. Freeman pointed out that Hughes “said he had many hours to clean up, so [Gustavsson] had many hours to get his story right.” Hughes was then excused from the stand and the court took a morning break.


Jason Agere, an MPD officer for four years, was next on the stand. “I was basically stuck inside my precinct for three weeks,” Agere complained about the protests. He stated that he was in the lobby of the precinct the majority of the night of November 23, and if he was outside it was by the vestibule “to protect the precinct from being taken over” from “a large protest, a very large protest,” which he described as being “very hostile, very dangerous” because “objects were being thrown at us.

Agere claimed that November 23 was super dangerous; he pointed to pictures of Alexander Clark and stated that “he was the one who threatened our lives.” At this point, the proceedings were stopped by the judge and the jury was sent back. The judge explained that he could not say “lives” and that he had already been told to not offer testimony, to simply answer the question, and to restrain himself from adding more. Freeman made it clear that he had already instructed the witness about these details.

Agere was shown three pictures in all, in two of which he pointed out Alexander Clark, and another that he claimed was “a very dark picture” and that he couldn’t make out what was in it. Agere was asked how many hours he had spent at the precinct, to which he answered 120 to 140 hours, with 11 or 12 on the night of November 23.

The defense then played video that was taken by Officer Steven Jensen, and Agere explained what he saw. He explained that the people on the video were chanting “no justice no peace, fuck the police,” but then as the video played further, he corrected himself and said the chant was actually “no justice no peace, prosecute the police.

When Alexander Clark came back on the screen, Agere admitted to watching him for “a couple hours,” and that his screaming was “constant when we were outside.” He stated that he personally never ventured into the crowd. He was excused from the stand after a very short cross-examination, in which Agere said that there was only one person with a mask on.


Before the court took its lunch break, but after the jury was excused, the defense attempted a motion for acquittal. Their position was that there was evidence showing self-defense: Wesley Martin stated that he was “charging” and going to “beat their asses“, Teven was in front of him, Dallas said he saw the group approaching fast and that the crowd was yelling, “we’re gonna beat their asses.” The crowd was large, there was a weapon and threats of violence such as “taking down the white boy.” The defense argued that it is the State’s burden to demonstrate that the defense has not shown this as self-defense. The judge denied the defense’s motion for acquittal.


JURY INSTRUCTIONS

After the lunch break, the gallery was packed with only three seats open. Scarsella was brought in and the judge demanded that all phones be turned off, not just on silent. The jury was then given their instructions along with an 18-plus page packet detailing descriptions of the charges against Scarsella. Also in the packet was information regarding Scarsella’s claim to self-defense.


CLOSING ARGUMENTS – PROSECUTION

Assistant Hennepin County attorney Judith Hawley presented the closing statements for the state in its prosecution of Allen Scarsella. She started, “this has been a very, very long trial … at least a week longer than we thought we needed your service.

Hawley spoke about the “troubling times” of police killings during late 2015. She said that what happened with Jamar Clark is that it brought the national attention to our backyard and presented a ”very challenging time for both groups,” saying “officers didn’t deserve to have objects thrown at them” and “protesters also were at a challenging point in time, they were looking for a way to get the attention they deserved … to get their justice.” Both sides felt be-grieved, Hawley said; “police felt they were being attacked in their own house.

Into this tinderbox, walks Mr. Scarsella and his friends,” Scarsella “doesn’t belong to any group, doesn’t like Jamar or the police,” Hawley said. She said he came to cause trouble and was deeply racist and that was not just evidence of hatred “it was an obsession with shooting black people, over and over and over again.

Scarsella at shooting range (Facebook)

You’ve seen mister Unicorn Riot’s livestream … journalist videos and photos and police videos,” Hawley said and brought up the “locked and loaded” video and Suarez’s livestream. “Yes, there was a confrontation at the fence,” and then “something happens … testimony says that the defendant utters racial slurs,” and a group comes forward.

Hawley reminded the jury they had heard from five victims, one man across the street in his car, Gustavsson, and Scarsella. The state then begins to play a PowerPoint type of presentation.

Wesley Martin: Hawley said, he was the first person to approach fence. She smilingly brought up to the jury that Wes had said to “kick rocks,” he helped hustle Scarsella’s group out of the area of the protests, he acknowledged that Gustavsson was punched at the corner. Martin also said that racial slurs were yelled and “he and his friends ran forward … he said that made him mad.” He was 20 feet away from Scarsella and was shot and ran away. No evidence that he was intoxicated although he admitted he drank some “good cognac.” Wesley was shot below his knee. No weapons were found on him.

Teven King: Second of the protesters to go to fence. Hawley said King also testified he heard racial slurs (at the fence before they left Plymouth Avenue). He said he saw Gustavsson get punched, he followed the group and he got shot. Hawley said King had his blood drawn and although he testified that he had a lot to drink that night, he had .02 bac. He said he used marijuana, Hawley then mentioned that he was being honest, he didn’t have to say that, she said, “contrast that with defendants testimony.” She said that because of the severity of King’s injury, Scarsella is given higher charge. She reminded the jury that Dr. Cumming testified about the direness of his injury and how he was very close to death (had to stop mid surgery and resume the next day – King still has the bullet in his pelvis as it is too risky to remove). No weapons were found on him.

Draper Larkins: He went to the fence and approached Scarsella and his friends whom he heard say racial slurs and ‘you n words are acting like animals’ and “Jamar Clark got what he deserved.” He was close to Walter going up Morgan, saw Scarsella fire his gun, and said he was holding the gun with two hands and shooting across the street while getting down on one knee. She talked about how he testified that he played possum to act dead. He helped Walt out and went to North Memorial Medical Center. The bullet went through his arm and was recovered from his jacket. He admitted he smoked weed the night of the shooting and said he is still on pain medication from injury (showed pain during testimony). He was shot in his right arm while smoking a cigarette. No weapons were found on him.

Cameron Clark: Hawley said Cameron was Jamar Clark’s cousin. He wasn’t at the fence originally, he saw a group going up Morgan, heard “fuck you n**gers,” saw the shooting, and then got shot in the foot and leg. The bullet missed an artery by ½ inch. No weapons were found on him.

Walter Hoskins: He wasn’t at the fence and he didn’t see the punch. He saw a group going north on Morgan and followed. He was shot in his back and thigh by Scarsella. He saw Scarsella firing and moving forward. He testified that Scarsella stood over him and shot him again after the first time. He admitted drinking although there was no evidence of intoxication. He has a long road of physical recovery. No weapons were found on him.

To read our report from the victims testimonies, see Part Four.

Hawley says, “that’s a rough run through of the testimony.” Hawley then focuses no photos and tells the story of the testimonies. Hawley said that Scarsella testified he was close to house near 1403 Morgan and about 10-15 feet from Walt and 20 feet from Draper, she said it makes a difference in the self-defense claim.


Evaluation of Testimony – Hawley said that Scarsella added that he was grabbed by his coat at end of testimony, otherwise no one grabbed them or touched them besides Gutsavsson getting punched

Hawley reminded the jury that Katherine Engdahl who frequented the protest and spoke about how the crowd was more fearful after the 19th video, she said she was part of that group that moved them off Plymouth, she testified she heard the defendant yelling racial slurs.

Dallas Griffen, Hawley said, “did hear one of the white guys say back off,” and “he also said nobody put their hands on anybody else … nobody was grabbed, nobody fell … before the shooter shot.” She said he had no ax to grind in this case, yet he said none of protesters had weapons or that they touched Scarsella and his friends.


Gustavsson was on the stand a long time. Hawley said he wasn’t touched up at 14th & Morgan and he remarked on the speed that Scarsella drew his weapon with a huge smile.

Hawley ran over some thoughts on evaluating testimony: 1/ Stake in the outcome – 2/ Relationship to the parties – 3/ Knowledge of facts – 4/ Manner – 5/ Age and exp – 6/ Honesty & sincerity – 7/ Frankness and directness – and two others.

Hawley said of Gustavsson: we know he is a friend of the defendant, he also has charges. He was able to review all of the evidence in this case and he refused to talk about the case when he turned himself in. When he testified, it was the first time he gave a statement to the state.

She spoke about Gustavsson’s racism: you all saw the picture from the meet-up in the bathroom. He called the confederate flag, the American flag. He couldn’t understand why Black people don’t like being called the ‘n word’ and said they should get over slavery. Hawley talked about his racist language, “he obviously showed bias.

He said he didn’t decide to go to the protest until the 23rd, that’s false, he was on phone w Scarsella on the 19th after their livestream and exchanged texts directly after stream about the next steps to get people to “disperse” and “make shit happen.” He said “he went down there to talk to protesters around fire pits,” that’s not true. He had his face covered because it was cold, not true. He said there was no racial slurs, not true. He said he didn’t have a phone with him and then said he did. He said he didn’t have his gun with him but in a jail phone call he told someone he could’ve pulled the trigger but he didn’t. He didn’t give up location of his car (his vehicle and gun and his speaker box were never found by police). He was asked about actions to destroy or conceal evidence of the videos/livestreams. After the shooting, he texted, “we’re all guilty in this, I don’t think I can save myself.


What was said about defendant said after the shooting?

Julio Suarez said the defendant had no injuries. Suarez said that he heard another guy was reaching for a gun, Scarsella beat him to the draw and dumped a magazine. Suarez told him to turn himself in.

Scarsella called high school friend and ex-police officer Brett Levin after the shooting and said “dude, I really fucked up.” Scarsella said he was punched and a friend was pushed so he shot five people.

Ashley Murray, Scarsella’s girlfriend who still visits him while in jail twice a week said Scarsella had no injuries, his friend was punched, and he had to shoot to save his life. She said he never told her anyone had a gun or knife.

Scarsella’s landlord Ben Heimdahl said he saw no injury to the defendant the night of the shooting and when asked what Scarsella was doing at two in the morning after the shooting, Scarsella told him “we’re just staging … sorry, it couldn’t be helped.

Hawley said Ms. Werner testified today and gave a completely contradictory statement than she did to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on January 6th. She switched her story from Scarsella saying someone was reaching for a gun to a “shiny metal object.” Hawley said it’s “unbelievable ladies and gentlemen.


“Lets talk about what the defendant did”

Hawley said, “first, he ran after dumping the mag” then called to be picked up and then went to Julios and didn’t call 911. They met-up at his house afterwards and in addition to not calling the police or turning himself in “he reloaded his gun…same gun he shot 5 people with…put it by his bed and went to sleep.

Look at Scarsella’s manner, how did he appear, was he forthcoming, “or did he attempt to minimize everything? … all of this is just a meme you know it’s funny.

The absolute core level of this defendant’s racism … and not apologetic about any of this. Entitled. Emboldened … these are not just words, not in this culture, not in this society, they have meaning.” – Hawley speaks about Scarsella

Hawley spoke to the jury and compared it to that politically incorrect email that you don’t say anything about, except this is much bigger and different. His text messages “are a window to exactly who this person is … not just the comments about Black people but about shooting.” She spoke about the “chimp out” texts, and asked “isn’t that exactly what he did?

Hawley then showed “a couple clips that demonstrated the shooting prowess” of Scarsella. She showed videos extracted from his phone that show him doing a forward advance maneuver and other shooting videos.


CHARGES

Second Degree Riot“When three or more persons assembled disturb the public peace by an intentional act or threat of unlawful force or violence to person or property, each participant who is armed with a dangerous weapon or knows that any other participant is armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of riot second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.”

Hawley said Scarsell “went there to provoke, to ridicule, and who knows, maybe get a chimp to chimp out.

The victims, she said, “were candid about who they are,” yet Scarsella’s cohort, “they wouldn’t remove their masks.” Hawley said maybe the victims had made some mistakes but they didn’t have sufficient reasons to be shot.

Five (5) 2nd Degree Assault w Dangerous Weapon“Whoever assaults another with a dangerous weapon may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than seven years or to payment of a fine of not more than $14,000, or both.”

Five (5) 2nd Degree Assault Charges – causing substantial bodily harm (bodily harm inflicted by defendant) – “Whoever assaults another with a dangerous weapon and inflicts substantial bodily harm may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.”

First Degree Assault“Whoever assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $30,000, or both.”

Self Defense – The use of reasonable force to resist an assault, duty to retreat and duty to avoid danger. Hawley said after they had crossed the street and were ahead of the group, this defendant was “going to get a chimp to chimp out” so he could act on it. Look at the extreme level of hatred Scarsella harbors, Hawley said. He said he shot  Hawley bangs the pointer on the podium saying “he shot not once, not twice, but three, four, …” Hawley bangs the amount of bullets on the podium, eight.

Hawley then thanked the jury for being jurors because they were extremely courteous and attentive and nice. She asked them to use their common sense. She closed by bringing up the interview that Scarsella did with Unicorn Riot and the question posed to him about what “emphasis of Jamar Clark brought them there” and she said they “stopped at community outreach.” The state rested around 3 p.m. with the last words, “find him guilty.


CLOSING ARGUMENTS – DEFENSE

Laura Heinrich started the defense closing arguments by saying “on November 23rd, 2015, Allen Scarsella fired his gun” into a crowd that was angry and saying “were gonna beat your asses whiteboy, you’re going to die, and Scarsella feared for his life.” You heard testimony, she said, that Scarsella was punched by this same crowd, who over and over again “told them what they were going to do.” Scarsella was trying to leave and ”he shot because he was scared.

You watched this case freeze frame by freeze frame” but it was only 15 seconds long, this case is about him being scared and pulling his gun, its not about the 19th, or the 24th, or any text messages from 3, 6, 9, months ago or a year ago, it’s not about whether you like Scarsella or if he made racial slurs. Heinrich continued, “you can hate Scarsella, but it doesn’t take it away from what happened to him … going to the protest with a gun doesn’t take away from the fact that he feared for their life… the group of four went to livestream, met at Julio’s, got Taco Bell, went to the fence and started filming banners and what was happening around them.

She brought up and showed the livestreams that Scarsella took from the 19th and the 23rd. She said about the video from the 19th, “this is the beginning of the plan the state said,” the stream is not what anybody disputes. “What Mr. Scarsella and his friends didn’t know was that there was another story” when they came on the 23rd. She said security was tightened during this time and people were paranoid that others were coming to harm the community. There was a lot of anger at the precinct she said. Heinrich said, when people are drinking, they tend to make poor judgement, even Mr. King “doesn’t recall exactly what happened that evening” because he had been drinking she said. She said people came to fence so fast they “couldn’t move .. yelling that they were going to do violence to them.” She spoke about how fast the situation happened.

Heinrich dismissed Scarsella and his friends using racist terminology, saying “I would first note that the ‘n word’ is all over these videos, you hear it all over these videos … it’s not the white group saying it.” She said witness Dallas Griffen didn’t hear the ‘n word’ and brought up that she believed that Jer Alexander mentored some of the victims and changed their stories.

It’s human to talk about these things … their [the victims] stories are starting to sound like they’re the same.” – Heinrich

She showed screenshots from videos of the situation and the “swarm” around fence, said that later Wesley was really close to Scarsella and “sprinting at them” and that “Teven was in front of him.

You heard a lot of testimony from the officers … one of the officers actually drove his squad into the crime scene … things moved around.” She focused on the testimonies that the defense had said, that protesters were rushing at Scarsella.

She said if the state was right about Scarsella’s plan, he wouldn’t have been shaken up after the shooting and wouldn’t have called his officer friend, “this was not a plan, nothing about this looks like a plan, this is panic … he made a decision really fast” and the “moment he was done, he ran.

During the November 19th livestream, she said Scarsella and Suarez “were using specific lingo for a specific community … looking for Unicorn Riot, trying to get on their livestream.” She said they never said the ‘n word’ when talking with Unicorn Riot and that they fit their lingo into their audience to get a kick.

Heinrich said Scarsella’s landlord testified that he didn’t use racial slurs, Ashley Murray said he “doesn’t say that in public.” Heinrich then labeled his racist text messages, that he “texting in private ways with friends,” as “just speech,” although they were “derogatory” and “hurtful.

She continued making excuses for his blatant racism, “he didn’t come up with the terms and memes, he found them and its been a part of this public discourse.” His texts, she said, were private and never meant to be public, he didn’t yell those things outloud at Sam’s Club, he just sent it to his girlfriend. He sent the internet memes to a community that knew they shouldn’t take it seriously; “he’s saying it to people who already have similar views.” Even ex-officer Levin testified it was “locker room talk,” Heinrich said, “this is about conduct, not character.

Heinrich spoke directly to the jury and said, your starting point is that he is innocent. “You all said at the beginning that you could view Mr. Scarsella with a presumption of innocence … they have to convince you that they have proven every element of every charge.

She said, this decision you can’t change, unlike a job or a house, like a medical surgery in which you need surgery and the bag of blood has a smudge on it, do you want to do your surgery that day or wait until you get a clean blood bag, she asked.

Heinrich said that the fact that Scarsella brought the gun doesn’t prove assault, it’s not strange for him to have a gun, he had a gun on the 19th and he didn’t use it. The defense finished by speaking to the jury, you saw them around the fence, then further saying, “white boy you’re gonna die” and seconds later someone pulled out a weapon, “this is not a plan, this is panic, he thought he was going to die … things got completely out of hand … he was trying to save him and his friend.


FINAL REMARKS – STATE

The prosecutors began final remarks at 4:13 p.m. Hawley said that the people who were at the barricade were close to the front of the precinct, not the fence, therefore the defense showing videos of protesters yelling at police at the barricades isn’t representative of those that confronted Scarsella. The “vast majority of people were not at” the police barricades and that they were milling around.

This case is not about Alexander Clark or his threats, said Hawley. Wes was there “acting like a goofball”. Draper was there smoking a cigarette. The barricade video was only shown because it was Black men acting rudely, because it wasn’t during the time of the attack, but instead was around 6 p.m. They weren’t drunk even though you were just told that they were by the defense. Hawley said Scarsella was not consistent in his testimony to Officer Levin: it was a knife and to Julio it was a gun and to Ashley it was nothing.

Hawley showed pictures of bigoted memes and also the racist toilet picture and asked if it is funny or fun. It’s not “locker room talk” when it’s talking about harming Black folks. Hawley notes the blood transfusion idea Heinrich brought up and said this is “not a medical decision, it is a criminal case.

Hawley showed the side picture of Morgan and 14th of casings and shots, noting Hoskins, who supposedly had a weapon, but he was still at least 15 feet away. “This case doesn’t start off with self defense in this case … once it’s articulated in the case the state must disprove it” she said. As for the manner Scarsella shot at the victims: “this is not self defense, it’s excessive… If you got the guy with the shiny object […] why keep shooting?” Hawley concluded at 4:26 p.m.

The jury received instructions including how a foreman must read off all the charges and how to show guilt on the jury papers. There were 24 pages on the verdict forms and the two jury alternates left, who were older white men, one of them a doctor. A deputy was sworn in under the assertion he will make sure the jury is tightly sequestered.

This series will continue in Part 10 with the jury’s final verdict and sentencing.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read our expansive documentation of the Scarsella Trial. To help our volunteer-operated horizontally organized non-profit media collective, please consider a tax-deductible donation:

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Protests for Jamar Clark, who was executed by the Minneapolis Police on November 15, led to an eighteen-day outdoor occupation of the 4th Precinct police station. To watch our live coverage of this historic protest encampment that was mere blocks away from the site of Jamar’s death, and a block away from where Scarsella open fired, click here.

Allen Scarsella and his group of co-defendants, Joseph Backman (28 y/o – Eagan, MN), Nathan Gustavsson (22 y/o – Hermantown, MN), and Daniel Macey (who got his charges dropped by Judge Caliguiri in late February), are all part of the growing movement of white nationalists clustered around xenophobic ideology blossoming in internet chat forums.

This racist reality was centered in this trial as a motive for the armed attack, namely speaking and posting about white-supremacist ideals through memes and terminology not fully recognized by the larger majority of the populace.

Trial proceedings in the State of MN vs. Scarsella took place on the sixteenth floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and were presided by Judge Hilary Lindell Caligiuri. Representing Allen Scarsella in his plea of self-defense were public defenders Laura Heinrich and Peter Martin, while Assistant Hennepin County Attorney’s Judith Hawley and Chris Freeman prosecuted the case. Fourteen people sat in the jury box: twelve jurors and two alternates, who were unknown to the court and even themselves until the judge gave the jury instructions after closing statements.

Allen Scarsella was found guilty on all twelve felonies levied against him on February 1st, 2017; one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree riot while armed, and five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon – causing substantial bodily harm, as well as five more counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon (note: on January 31st, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office added the five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon).



Read all ten comprehensive report backs by clicking the titles, Part One: Jury Selection, Unicorn Riot Subpoenaed, Opening Statements | Part Two: “In hindsight it was very stupid” | Part Three: Jury Sees Videos Around Mass Shooting | Part Four: Shooting Victims Testify | Part Five: Cell Phone Extraction Shows Scarsella’s Hardened Racism | Part Six: Defense Attempts to Discredit Protesters Using Police Videos, | Part Seven: Co-Defendant Waives his 5th, Testifies for White Supremacist, | Part Eight: Scarsella Takes Stand, Admits Shooting, Claims Self-Defense, | Part Nine: Defense Rests & Closing Statements, | Part Ten: Scarsella Guilty of 12 Felonies, Sentenced to 15 Years, or by clicking on the images below:


To see Unicorn Riot’s past coverage in relation to this shooting, see below:

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