Prosecutors to Ask Judge for Seven-Year Sentence in Potter Trial


In Friday’s sentencing of former Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter, prosecutors will ask the judge to sentence Potter to seven years in prison.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office filed a motion asking that Potter serve 86 months – just more than seven years – for killing Daunte Wright last year.

Potter was convicted in December of first- and second-degree manslaughter after Ellison’s officer took over the prosecution. She meant to pull her Taser as Wright fled a traffic stop, but instead pulled her service pistol, shooting and killing the victim.

Previously, Ellison’s office stated its intention to seek 15 years in prison as Potter’s sentence, which would have been uncharacteristically long for a first-time offender convicted of manslaughter based on Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines. A judge may impose a longer sentence than normal if he or she determines that there are aggravating factors that deserve more severe punishment.

The motion says that “the appropriate sentence has to be the presumptive sentence set by the legislature until defendant Potter can convince the court that society’s interests, including those of Daunte Wright’s family and friends, can be met by some other disposition.”

The motion comes after much discussion about how much time Potter should serve.

The initial prosecutor on the case, Imran Ali, resigned, citing politicization of the case. He said he would not have charged Potter with first-degree manslaughter at all, claiming that the video of the shooting shows culpable negligence but does not rise to the level of criminal negligence. Had Potter only been convicted of second-degree manslaughter, she could have received probation without jail time.

Ellison’s office added the more serious first-degree manslaughter charge when it took over the case.

Per Minnesota law, sentencing is based on the most severe crime for which the defendant was convicted.

Potter’s defense attorney Earl Gray is still seeking a sentence of probation.

Potter was remanded into the custody of the state after she was found guilty, just before Christmas. Gray argued that she should be let out on bail until her sentencing, but Judge Regina Chu denied that request.

Chu will decide Potter’s fate Friday morning at 9:00 a.m.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].




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