Man convicted of two felonies last year — sentences stayed — now charged with murder in Mpls

I’ve written before about a ‘War on Public Safety’ being waged by some of Minnesota’s non-profits, District Attorneys, and judges, all of which are contributing to the explosion of violent crime in the Twin Cities and, increasingly, elsewhere in our state.

In the case of judges, time and again we see cases where people with multiple convictions have their sentences stayed, in which the court gives the convicted person a more lenient sentence in return for their cooperation with certain conditions. This might make sense in some cases, but not for repeat offenders.

So, the suspect in last month’s murder of Marquisha Wiley in a horrific mass shooting on West 7th Street in St. Paul which left another 14 people injured, Terry Lorenzo Brown, had been convicted on Gross Misdemeanor DWI in August and sentenced to 365 days in the Hennepin County Workhouse. Instead, Judge Julia Dayton Klein, appointed by Gov. Tim Walz in June, stayed the bulk of his sentence and released Mr. Brown with time served.

It appears to be a similar story in the murder of 21 year old Kavanian Palmer in Minneapolis last Friday. Kare 11 reported:

…preliminary information indicates that a driver headed west on Lyndale collided with another vehicle headed north on Broadway. Witnesses say the driver in the first vehicle jumped from his car and ran, and a bystander gave chase. At some point the fleeing motorist pulled a weapon and shot the man who was trying to apprehend him. 

That bystander was Mr. Palmer. The suspect, apprehended by members of the nonprofit We Push For Peace, is Robert David Lloyd Hall. KSTP reports:

Hall, 36, of Golden Valley, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder—one with intent, not premeditated, and one without intent, while committing a felony—one count of robbery, and one count of possessing ammunition or a firearm as a person convicted in a separate instance of a crime of violence.

According to @CrimeWatchMpls — easily the best source for reporting on public safety in the Twin Cities — Mr. Hall should have been in prison last Friday. He was convicted in two felony cases in December 2020, but his two 21-month sentences were stayed by Judge Marta M. Chou, who was appointed by former Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014.

As I noted recently, you may think it a mistake to keep on giving repeat offenders chance after chance. But not everyone thinks that:

“For every incident where a (sentencing) departure fails, we probably find two where departure succeeds,” said Ramsey County Chief Judge Leonardo Castro, who was also talking in general terms. “… Hopefully we get it right, but of course there’ll be times when we get it wrong. We struggle with those decisions and we live with them.”

So, the odds of something like this are one in three, according to Judge Castro. Those are pretty heavy odds to be gambling with Minnesotans lives.