The trial of a Lauderdale man accused of attempted murder in the shooting of two Somali American men is expected to wrap up Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.
Defense attorney Murad Mohammad said his client, Anthony Sawina, testified last week that he fired his gun twice at a car because he had reason to believe one of the men in that car had a gun. Mohammad said Sawina told jurors that he heard one of the men say the driver had a permit to carry a weapon. He said that prompted Sawina to draw his weapon and announce he had a permit too. Mohammad said Sawina fired when he saw the driver duck his head, as if to reach for a weapon, and after he saw some of the men try to get out of the car.
However, some of the victims testified Sawina threatened to kill them after uttering an anti-Muslim slur. And they say they ducked and tried to get out of the car to avoid being shot.
However, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Patrick Lofton argued in court outside of the jury Monday that Sawina's testimony about the permit was the first time that claim had been mentioned to anyone, including police investigators. Lofton said Sawina's claim was "fishy."