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 10:26 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar


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

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 10:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
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.


Thursday, August 6, 2009 10:05 AM

sws said:
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.

That was probably what the charges would have been had they taken this to trial. In an effort to save taxpayer dollars, they got them to plead guilty to 3rd degree.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:00 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Five years of probation? What a joke. Community service is the least they could do.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:23 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

That's what bothers me about the sentence. I think probation is an acceptable punishment, but would love to even see them have to log eight hours a week cleaning up trash at a park or neighborhood.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 2:11 PM
rollergator's avatar

Maybe it's me, but physical violence should get more than probation...IMO, probation is justified when you get stopped coming out of Scooter's with a sackload of "groceries". ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009 4:20 PM

Just. Sickening.

Assault someone like this in a multiple person versus a single man, kicking him in the head until he's unconscious and all they get is probation?!?!?

If I lived in that area, I would make damn sure to vote that judge out in the next election and I'd help pay for ads to remind everyone how soft on crime this judge is.

--George H

Thursday, August 6, 2009 5:36 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I am also on board the outrage wagon. I don't think prison is very good at rehabilitating people and I think preventative investments go a lot farther than punitive investments, but there is a time when you actually have to discipline people. If you say there are consequences for actions and then you don't enforce them (as a parent or as a society) what you teach is that there aren't consequences for actions AND that you are a pushover and can be taken advantage of.

Even if the culprits came out of prison harder (or whatever) than they went in, at least the authority figure would still be in a position of authority...not in the position of a sap.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Saturday, August 8, 2009 9:20 PM
sirloindude's avatar

Honestly, I think that even if you discount the severity of the crime, the fact that they didn't at all seem remorseful and didn't take things seriously alone destroys the justifiability of a weak sentence. They don't care, and certainly a little ankle collar isn't going to make them care any more than they currently do.

I look at it from my perspective as well. If you beat me so severely that I have permanent eye damage, I'm not gonna sign off on a plea that has you picking up trash here and there. I'm gonna be hoping you wind up with a deathly fear of dropping the soap.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


Monday, August 10, 2009 1:50 PM

Beyond the rehabilitation argument, we also send people to prison who can't or won't abide by society's rules, for the protection of the rest of society. I would be majorly surprised to hear that any of them make it through their probation period without committing another offense on the order of this one-- or worse. Wasn't there also some inappropriate physical contact between at least one of the defendants and the man's daughter?

And then how do you explain to the next victims and their families that you thought these guys deserved another chance because they weren't all that bad?

Monday, August 10, 2009 5:18 PM

I agree RGB. And WTF with the judge 'lashing out'...if you think they are not taking it seriously - send them to jail don't say (in effect), "I really mean it -- this is your last chance."

--George H

Monday, August 10, 2009 11:44 PM
rollergator's avatar

That's what I'm thinking (hey, a conservative viewpoint from me of all people, LOL). "Giving them a good tongue-lashing" (*no wink needed*) isn't exactly fitting punishment in this case - not in either sense. And the credibility of the judge's argument is destroyed when he smacks the gavel and says "have a good night's rest in your bed at home tonight".

Violent crime....IS why we needed to incarcerate people in the first place, isn't it? Even for me, that's virtually inarguable.

Last edited by rollergator, Monday, August 10, 2009 11:45 PM

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