Hennepin County judge issues ruling on filings in Londregan case

Hearing held Thursday on dispute in case against Ryan Londregan

During Thursday's hearing, the defense is asking for new potential evidence, including a subpoena of records pertaining to use of force.

On Thursday, a Hennepin County judge tried to rein in some of the filings in the case involving Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan, the man charged in the death of Ricky Cobb II.

Hennepin County Judge Tamara Garcia ruled that exhibits can only be offered during on-the-record hearings and not filed directly through the court website.

Additionally, court records containing citations or excerpts from court exhibits can only be filed after the court rules on their admissibility, and excerpts of sealed documents have to be redacted, according to the judge’s ruling. The prosecution and defense must schedule a hearing so the judge can approve the exhibit.

Londregan is charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree manslaughter after Cobb was fatally shot on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis last July. The Department of Public Safety said troopers tried to detain Cobb, but he refused to get out of the vehicle, and when troopers tried to remove him, he began driving away. That’s when a shot was fired by Trooper Londregan, hitting Cobb.

During Thursday’s hearing, Londregan sat calmly in the courtroom as the defense asked for new potential evidence, saying they wanted a subpoena of records pertaining to use of force expert Jeffery Noble, calling him “critical” to the case.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office issued the following statement after Thursday’s hearing ended:

“We have said from the beginning this case should be tried in the courtroom and not through the media. We were grateful for the judge’s order today that will not allow filings that are intended to influence the public and the press. The judge made clear she wants a fair and orderly trial in the courtroom, and we are hopeful that will now be possible. We encourage elected officials and others not involved in the case to take the judge’s comments to heart and refrain from creating more confusion by commenting on the ongoing case. Their comments disregard the established legal process, politicize the case, threaten the possibility of a fair trial, and ignore that there is a grieving family that is watching this unfold in the press.”

Defense attorney Chris Madel argued that Nobel stated Londregan had acted reasonably, saying the prosecution altered what Noble said and added the defense wants to see the notes that occurred during the investigative interview.

Meanwhile, prosecutors say the defense is overstating what Noble said, adding they have the ability to question subpoenas from a third party.

Thursday’s hearing also comes after an affidavit claims a complaint filed in the case lies by omission. In response, Moriarty’s office has said the affidavit was “another baseless press release from the defense” and called the accusations against prosecutors “false.”

The defense is now calling for a new prosecutor, claiming Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty didn’t take the expert’s opinion into account.

A legal expert told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it is unrealistic to expect an entire investigative interview to make it into a criminal complaint.

“It’s, as I recall, a 37-page affidavit or interview. Well, you can’t put the whole thing in the complaint. So if you end up saying ‘Well, you took something out of context,’ that happens,” said Kevin Burke, a retired Hennepin County chief judge.

The next hearing for this case is scheduled for the morning of April 29.