Suspect in Minneapolis assault has 7 previous felony convictions, got little time behind bars

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Hennepin County prosecutors said 34-year-old Victor Childers is captured on surveillance video assaulting the owner of an auto body garage in south Minneapolis on Aug. 5.

Childers is now charged with assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary connected with the incident that occurred on Chicago Avenue inside a barricaded, four-block area called, in some circles, an “autonomous zone.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS checked Childers’ criminal history and found he has seven prior felony convictions, two of which are considered violent offenses, between 2009 and 2018 and was released from his latest sentence in late 2019.

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Court records showed Childers spent under four years in jail, or prison, for those felony convictions.

Prosecutors, in charging documents, said Childers entered Mill City Auto Body and demanded money and when he did not get the money he wanted, he knocked the owner of the business unconscious.

Former Ramsey County Attorney, Susan Gaertner, told KSTP it is not “all that unusual” to have someone like Childers with multiple felony convictions, but hasn’t spent a lot of time behind bars for those offenses.

“We have, in Minnesota, one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country,” said Gaertner. “Right now, we are fourth from the bottom and we put very few Minnesota citizens in prisons compared to the rest of the country.”

Judges use a sentencing matrix laid out by the state’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission and do have limited authority to depart from those guidelines with either longer or lesser sentences under extreme circumstances.

In Childers’ cases, the sentencing judges did follow the Sentencing Guidelines, without any downward, or upward departures.

“This is done to make sure people of color are not disproportionately sentenced to longer prison time and to make sure those who don’t have the economic means to expensive counsel face the same unbalanced outcome,” said Gaertner.