KEYC - Possible New Trial Following Court Of Appeals Decision

Possible New Trial Following Court Of Appeals Decision

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Minnesota -

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction and 21–year prison sentence for a Hastings man convicted in a Mankato drug sting from January 2016, setting the case up for a possible retrial.

Deangelas Cook was sentenced in a Blue Earth County court to a nearly 21-years in prison in May 2016 on a first–degree drug charge.

On July 17, an unpublished opinion filed lists prosecutorial misconduct as one of two reasons for reversal.

The appeal judges say the prosecutor's statements about Cook having the burden of proof and not meeting it and vouching for the chief witness's credibility were improper.

The court of appeals also says in the inclusion of evidence about Cook's criminal history should have been restricted to just convictions.

Documents say prosecutors offered a more comprehensive criminal history that led the jury to determine Cook was a danger to public safety prompting an upward increase in his sentence.

The county attorney's office will have to decide whether to retry Cook.

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--KEYC News 12