Judge Patricia Karasov then sentenced Ahmed Ali, 21, to 17 years in prison for an August 2008 shooting that wounded three people at the Cedar Riverside Plaza in Minneapolis.
Karasov said defense attorney Robert Lengeling provided no proof that assistant county attorney Gretchen Gray-Larson posted any derogatory remark about Somalis during Ali's trial last month, as Lengeling had alleged in a motion. Lengeling also alleged that Gray-Larson posted that she felt comfortable with her case because of a St. John's University alumnus was on the jury.
"What I find disturbing is that there are innuendoes about these comments, for which you have provided no evidence," Karasov said.
Lengeling responded that he subpoenaed Facebook for the postings but received no response. He said an attorney in the public defender's office saw the postings and told him. He said he has no evidence that a jury member saw the postings, but he said it was possible.
Neither Lengeling nor assistant county attorney Pete Connors mentioned what Gray-Larson was alleged to have written against Somalis, but Somali activist Adirizak Bihi said he understood that she wrote about taking "another Somali off the streets."
Connors noted that since the defense first raised the issue, its allegations about what she wrote have evolved.
"There's not one quote about Somalis, then there's a partial quote, then a full quote, [but] 'not verbatim.'" Connors said.
Karasov also denied a second motion for a new trial based on a juror's statement that he felt pressured to vote guilty.
Abby Simons • 612-673-4921