Trooper Londregan’s next hearing – a chance to show your support

On Monday, April 29, at 9 a.m., Trooper Ryan Londregan will appear in Hennepin County District Court for his next pretrial hearing on charges filed against him for his use of deadly force against Ricky Cobb II. 

As with previous hearings, all those supportive of Trooper Londregan are encouraged to make their support known by showing up at the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza at 8 a.m. and peacefully standing in support for him as he arrives and departs from court. 

The show of support at previous hearings has been inspirational for Trooper Londregan, his family, and the broader law enforcement community. The impact of such support from the community cannot be emphasized enough.

The show of support also helps turn the tide against the anti-police narrative. Those championing anti police rhetoric have, for too long, held control of an unhealthy bully pulpit used against our peace officers. It’s time good people stand up and support law enforcement.

As Trooper Londregan’s defense attorney Christopher Madel has noted,

“Open season on law enforcement must end, and it’s going to end with this case.”

You are encouraged to be part of this effort.

The Hearing

The hearing Monday morning is an omnibus hearing which is often one of the most important pretrial hearings in a criminal case. In this hearing, the prosecution and defense can present a wide variety of motions for the judge to rule on prior to trial. 

According to Minnesota Court Rules of Criminal Procedure, the hearing is designed to address issues to include probable cause, evidentiary issues, discovery, admissibility of other crimes, wrongs or bad acts, admissibility of relationship evidence, constitutional issues, procedural issues, aggravated sentence, and any other issues relating to a fair and expeditious trial.

It’s unclear at this time, just which issues will be litigated at this hearing, but the hearing and Judge Garcia’s subsequent rulings will no doubt significantly shape the scope and future of this case.

Separate but Related

One of the motions Trooper Londregan’s defense attorneys have made is for Judge Garcia to consider a separate probable cause hearing at a later date to determine whether probable cause exists to try Trooper Londregan with murder. 

The defense has asserted that Trooper Londregan’s use of deadly force was justified under Minnesota Statute 609.066 Sub 2(1), which reads in part:

“…the use of deadly force by a peace officer in the line of duty is justified only if an objectively reasonable officer would believe, based on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time and without the benefit of hindsight, that such force is necessary:

(1) to protect the peace officer or another from death or great bodily harm…”

This defense is known as an “affirmative defense” and it places the burden to prove it on the defense. As such, a future probable cause hearing, before trial, to litigate the defense of justifiable deadly force by a peace officer in this case, will be essential to ensuring justice for Trooper Londregan.

Important Development with the Prosecution

It has been reported by the Star Tribune and Kare 11 reporter Lou Raguse that the lead Hennepin County prosecutor in the Trooper Londregan case, Josh Larson, has asked to step down from the case. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has declined to confirm or deny it, but Larson no longer appears on documents being filed with the court. Additionally, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty has gone to the County Board to seek permission to hire outside counsel to prosecute the case.

If the rumor Larson stepping down from the case is accurate, it is yet another blow to the credibility of this prosecution. Larson has been the lead Hennepin County Attorney assigned to the prosecutions of recent police officers involved in use of deadly force cases. It’s hard to conceive Larson would step away from the Trooper Londregan case unless he had concerns with the direction the case was being driven by Hennepin County Attorney’s Office management.