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Student sentenced for assaulting Harrison teaching assistant last year

Corey David Burfield Photo: Hennepin County
Corey David Burfield

Updated: October 17, 2019 03:44 PM

A now 19-year-old from St. Paul was sentenced Thursday for an attack on a teacher at Harrison Education Center in May of last year.

Court records show Corey David Burfield was sentenced to one year at the Hennepin County Workhouse, which wil be served as work release, and five years of supervised probation. The judge also sentenced Burfield to over seven years, (90 months) at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility, but stayed the sentence for five years and will likely waive it if Burfield doesn't violate his probation.

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Burfield was charged with one count each of first-degree assault and third-degree assault, and entered guilty pleas to both charges. However, no sentence was pronounced for the third-degree assault charge.


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According to a criminal complaint, a school resource officer at Harrison Education Center, which serves high school students with emotional and behavioral issues, observed Burfield approach a teaching assistant and shove him against a wall and to the ground on May 22, 2018. Burfield then punched the teaching assistant, Mohammed Dukuly, several times in the neck and head. It also states surveillance video showed him initially trying to grab at Dukuly's belt where he had his school radio and keys.

Burfield later told authorities that Dukuly "took a swing" at him and he was only attempting to defend himself.

Dukuly was transported to the hospital, and was initially in critical condition.

While he doesn't have any prior criminal history, court documents show that Burfield has an extremely violent past, including other attacks on teachers, peers and his own family dating back to 2015 when he was 16. One court filing regarding the safety of an infant in the family's home said, "Between November 9, 2015 and November 9, 2016, Minneapolis police were called to the home 52 times for domestics (21 times), threats (2), lost child (runaway 9 times), damage to property (2), emotionally disturbed person (4) and other calls related to disruptive behavior."

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