AG Ellison to take over prosecution of woman's slaying from Hennepin County following family outcry


Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison pats the shoulder of Tiffynnie Epps, sister of Zaria McKeever, after Ellison gave remarks Wednesday at Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis.

Gov. Tim Walz has appointed Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over a high-profile murder case from Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty, a highly unusual step meant to curb public backlash against a controversial plea deal for two minors suspected of killing a 23-year-old woman during a Brooklyn Park home invasion last fall.

"A prosecutor is a minister of justice, and justice is comprised of both accountability and mercy," Ellison said in a statement. "While I share the belief that too many juveniles are involved in the adult criminal-justice system, accountability for the seriousness of this crime has been missing in this case."

Ellison noted that he requested Moriarty's office refer the prosecution of the case to his office, "but they declined to do so." Moriarty in response called Ellison's decision unprecedented and "deeply troubling."


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