Judge verbally lashes out at convicted Valleyfair assault defendants, sentences only probation

Posted Wednesday, August 5, 2009 2:55 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Six young men were spared prison Tuesday for their role in the beating of an Apple Valley father at Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee last summer, but all were promised to see more time behind bars if they screw up on probation.

The men, who are all related, received varying sentences based on their criminal past and involvement in the Fourth of July brawl, with five years of probation, but ranging from 90 to 225 days in custody, with credit for time already served. They previously pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in Scott County District Court in Shakopee as part of plea agreements.

Read more from Shakopee Valley News.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:13 PM
Jeff's avatar

What a crappy judge. Seriously, if these guys are blowing it off and not taking responsibility, why let them off easy?


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:25 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

The victim and his family signed off on the plea deals, but I can't imagine they're happy about how this turned out.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:41 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

I would have liked to see them on probation as well as given community service time. We over-jail in the US and could use some people out there cleaning up trash and pruning trees. Jail them at that age and it could screw them up for life, maybe this way they will turn things around. If they screw up on probation they go to jail.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

eightdotthree said:
Jail them at that age and it could screw them up for life, maybe this way they will turn things around.

I think just the opposite. Don't jail them and it could screw them up for life. They obviously don't care, show no remorse or take the situation seriously. A reality check would probably put things into perspective - actions have consquences.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:30 PM

A counter-argument would be that prison is the world's best felon school.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

A counter-counter argument ( :) ) would be that they're already criminals...and violent ones at that...who don't care about what they did on any level.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:45 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

As punishment I'd send them to Darien Lake and make them ride Predator all day ;)

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:52 PM

As long as they didn't have to ride with this guy: http://tinyurl.com/3xgqz6

That would be cruel and unusual punishment!

Lord Gonchar said: A counter-counter argument ( :) ) would be that they're already criminals...and violent ones at that...who don't care about what they did on any level.

Nah. These guys are like 1st level, 2nd level thugs tops. Send them in there and they'll come out with three times more hit points and a new found contempt for society. ;)

Edit: Damn, what's up with my hyperlink? Guess I have to go back to Internet school...

Last edited by Ensign Smith, Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:55 PM

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
Nah. These guys are like 1st level, 2nd level thugs tops. Send them in there and they'll come out with three times more hit points and a new found contempt for society. ;)

Interestingly, that wasn't your take last year when the incident was reported. (linky link)

In fact, everyone seemed pretty outraged at the severity of the crime at the time.

I guess I'm the only one who still is.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:01 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
A counter-counter argument ( :) ) would be that they're already criminals...and violent ones at that...who don't care about what they did on any level.

They are still young though, too young to be considered criminals IMO.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:07 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

If you're old enough to physically beat an adult to unconsciousness, you're old enough to be treated as a criminal.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:08 PM
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

The real debate is around whether or not prison is effective in terms of rehabilitation. I don't think it is, personally, but in this case we're looking at the reactive product of a crime already committed. There are probably a thousand things that could be done before a kid becomes a thug, and most start with parents, schools and community.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 5:46 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

This sounds awfully reminiscent of the parent who tells the child, "If you do that thing one more time, then you're really gonna get it!!"

Regardless of age and philosophies about punishment and rehabilitation, I'm disturbed that these guys made a joke of the process and then ended up with a verbal lashing of sorts. Showing up an hour late and offering excuses for the behavior is hardly the appropriate foundation for deciding that these guys need a break this time.

I really don't get it.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:11 PM
sws's avatar

The last I had heard, the victim suffered permanent damage to his eye from the brutal attack. Hardly seems fair that the perps just get a slap on the wrist. I'm not sure why the DA pleaded them out at third degree assault. Seems like a much more serious crime than that. They should have received the maximum sentence allowed. I'm in the camp that the light sentence will only encourage them in the future.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:12 PM

Prisons in MN must be full again.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:24 PM
sws's avatar

Just did a google search to try to figure out the various levels of assault charges in MN and what constitutes third degree assault. Here's what I found:

There is a wide range in the severity of assaults. While all assaults are emotionally traumatizing and physically disparaging the degree of an assault is measured on a five point scale for criminal cases under Minnesota assault law:
First Degree Assault- Considered a felony, First Degree Assault is described as inflicting great bodily harm or the use of deadly force.
Second Degree Assault- Also a felony, Second Degree Assault is assault with a deadly weapon.
Third Degree Assault- Third Degree Assault is an assault on a minor or assault where substantial bodily harm is inflicted. Third Degree Assault is also considered a felony.
Fourth Degree Assault- Fourth Degree Assault is considered a gross misdemeanor and is an attack on a peace officer while they are performing their duties.
Fifth Degree Assault- Considered a misdemeanor, Fifth Degree Assault usually refers to domestic abuse or violence in which no substantial harm is inflicted.

In this case, the victim was severely beaten and needed hospitalization with resulting permanent eye damage. It would seem to fit with "inflicting great bodily harm." I'm not sure why they didn't pursue the first degree assault, which likely would have resulted in stiffer penalties.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:59 PM

Lord Gonchar said:


Interestingly, that wasn't your take last year when the incident was reported. (linky link)

In fact, everyone seemed pretty outraged at the severity of the crime at the time.

I guess I'm the only one who still is.

Eh, I merely chimed in today playing devil's advocate. Clearly, they do deserve significant time behind bars.... Nevertheless, they probably will come out harder than when they went in.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:26 PM

^Or walking funny.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 10:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
Nevertheless, they probably will come out harder than when they went in.

That's what she said.


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