The city of St. Paul says new initiatives to combat domestic violence are paying off. Under they city's "first light" program, prosecutors, police and advocates meet each morning to review the previous night's cases.
St. Paul city attorney Sara Grewing says they now prioritize cases where the suspect fled before police arrived:
"Unfortunately we were finding that those were the smartest and most lethal defendants," Grewing said. "They knew that if the victim had called 911 and the police were coming they should run, and return an hour later and continue to reoffend."
Grewing says it used to take 80 days to charge these cases. Now it's down to eight days. The conviction rate has held steady, above 70 percent.