Man ordered to get treatment after assault at light rail station

A St. Paul man will have to get substance abuse treatment for his role in an assault that seriously injured a person earlier this year at a light rail station.

On Monday morning, Judge Peter Cahill sentenced 19-year-old Keaten James Morris to 365 days in the county workhouse but furloughed him to chemical health treatment.

Back in May, court documents show Morris pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree assault, which was part of a deal that allowed the robbery charge to be dismissed, would have Morris serve 120 days in the Hennepin County workhouse, and a stayed three-year prison sentence.

However, Cahill noted that Morris failed to get in touch with his probation officer, which violated the terms of his conditional release. That’s why the judge moved his sentence from 120 days to a full year.

Additionally, Morris will have to serve three years of probation, as agreed upon, and if he completes that without any issues, his conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor. As part of his probationary terms, he has to stay away from the victim and also avoid all light rail stations for the first year.

Morris was one of two men to be arrested for the incident, which happened at the Lake Street Blue Line station earlier this year.

RELATED: 2 men accused of beating transgender woman at Minneapolis light rail station

His co-conspirator, 23-year-old Kevin York, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree assault in May. As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, that plea was part of a deal that was identical to Morris’ — a 120-day sentence at the county workhouse, a stayed prison sentence and the dismissal of a first-degree robbery charge.

A criminal complaint says the assault happened around 9:45 a.m., and when officers arrived, they found the victim bruised and bleeding with bumps on her forehead and a serious injury to the back of her head. She said, “They hit me,” and struggled to put coherent sentences together. She was taken to the hospital, where a CT scan showed she had suffered a broken rib and internal bleeding in her head.

Surveillance footage showed three suspects beating the woman, pushing her down the stairs and continuing to assault her, the complaint states. Two of those suspects boarded a southbound train and exited at the VA Medical Center Station, where police met them and took them into custody.

York told police the victim was “slashing at people,” possibly with a box cutter, according to the complaint.

The complaint states police were concerned the attack was the result of anti-transgender bias, since the victim was a transgender woman. However, the charges have not been listed as being bias-motivated crimes.