- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014
Suspect indicted in Minnesota officer killing

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) - The man charged with fatally shooting a Minnesota police officer this summer now faces a grand jury indictment.

A multi-county grand jury has indicted 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. with one count of first-degree murder in the killing of Mendota Heights police Officer Scott Patrick during a traffic stop July 30.

Fitch also was indicted on three counts of attempted first-degree murder for a shootout with police who arrested him in St. Paul that night. The indictment also charges Fitch with possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.

All of the charges were combined into one case that will be prosecuted in Dakota County.

Fitch had three warrants out for his arrest at the time Officer Patrick was killed.


McFadden backs air strikes against Islamic State

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden says he would vote to give President Barack Obama authorization for expanded air strikes against Islamic State group militants.

McFadden told The Associated Press on Friday that “it’s important that we show a united front to the world.” The businessman is challenging Democratic Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota.

McFadden says he has been frustrated by Obama’s approach so far to stop the group from attempting to gain more territory in Syria and Iraq. But he says he supports what Obama laid out in a speech to the nation this week. Obama’s plan includes training and supplying rebels trying to repel the Islamic State group’s spread.

McFadden described the groups as barbaric terrorists who need to be stopped. He said he would stop short of permitting ground troops.

Franken was generally supportive of the president’s plan in remarks Thursday.


$2M bail for suspect in gas station killing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A man accused of killing his former boyfriend and business partner at a suburban Minneapolis gas station abandoned a suitcase that contained ammunition consistent with the bullets used in the slaying, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday.

The complaint was unsealed as Lyle “Ty” Hoffman made his first court appearance since his arrest Thursday, after a month on the run. Hoffman, 44, is charged with intentional second-degree murder in the Aug. 11 death of Kelly Phillips, 48, formerly an attorney and vice president for the medical device company Boston Scientific.

After a series of intense manhunts in several Minneapolis suburbs, Hoffman was caught in Shakopee. He appeared in court wearing a protective vest but no shirt and waved to his sister before being escorted from the courtroom. Bail was set at $2 million after a brief hearing, with Hoffman assigned a public defender.

Hoffman and Phillips were once in a romantic relationship and had continued working together for a time in a northeast Minneapolis nightclub they had opened together. But that relationship fractured, too, with Phillips - the owner of the bar - eventually firing Hoffman and evicting him from a nearby house that Phillips owned.

According to the complaint, investigators learned Hoffman sometimes used a downtown Minneapolis condominium where they found a suitcase that belonged to him. Inside, investigators found men’s clothing, Hoffman’s passport, prescription medication, an ammunition magazine and 13 rounds of ammunition that was the same caliber, type and brand as casings found at the shooting scene and in Phillips’ body.


Special wedding guest: Man who saved groom’s life

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When Adam Myers and Sloan Braith get married Saturday, they’ll have a special guest present: The man whose bone marrow made their big day possible.

Jeremy Gitzlaff, of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, donated the marrow last year that’s credited with saving Myers’ life from leukemia. Myers and Gitzlaff have been communicating via texts, email and Facebook this summer, but the wedding at scenic William O’Brien State Park will be the first time they’ve spoken.

The two men said Friday they expect it will be an emotional meeting for both of them - as well as the bride.

“She said she’s not going to put her mascara on until she meets him because she knows she’s going to bawl her eyes out,” Myers said.

Myers, 31, a cellphone and satellite TV salesman from North Branch, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2012. It wasn’t his first bout with cancer. His doctors think he got leukemia from radiation treatment two years earlier for skin cancer that had settled in his lymph nodes. They decided a bone marrow transplant was his best hope.

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