2 crimes, 1 virus: 19-year-old who originally pleaded guilty to crime commits another after COVID-19 affects court system

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Nineteen-year-old Jaylyn Bass pleaded guilty in January to assaulting a Mounds View Police officer and was scheduled to be sentenced in March.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his sentencing was canceled and he has now been charged with a separate violent crime outside a Speedway gas station in Mounds View in late April.

The criminal complaint says Bass fired 12 rounds from a .40-caliber handgun at another man, but no one was injured during the shooting and several rounds of ammunition were recovered at the scene.

Bass has been charged with second-degree attempted homicide and second-degree assault in the Speedway case, but his defense attorney told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Bass is claiming he fired the gun at another man in self-defense.

Bass was free on bond while waiting to be sentenced March, but courthouse restrictions due to COVID-19 forced his sentencing date to be canceled and David Schultz, Hamline University legal expert, told KSTP this is a challenge for all courtrooms in Minnesota.

"Had the courts moved quickly on this one, usually you see some jail time for assaulting an officer, this whole situation with the shooting might not have ever occurred," said Schultz.

Schultz said a pre-trial sentence investigation most likely determined Bass was not a threat to the general public and that is why he was out of jail awaiting his March court date for sentencing.

"Or, the other thing is some jails might also be concerned about the spread of COVID-19," said Schultz.  "So, this could have been, initially, the humane thing to do."