Updated: 5:12 p.m.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice revisit the case of Myon Burrell, a Minnesota teen sentenced to life after an 11-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet.
The county attorney’s office said on Monday that it has asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who led the case’s prosecution 11 years ago, to request a review by the Justice Department of Burrell's conviction.
Freeman’s office said in a press release that the federal agency would have the resources to revisit the case with thousands of pages of documents as well as videos for evidence. The office added that it will continue its internal investigation of the case, which has been ongoing for about seven months, and will review additional information provided by Burrell’s attorney.
The prosecutor’s statement came three days after Klobuchar asked him to initiate an investigation into the case. In her letter to Freeman, Klobuchar said she concluded an independent review is necessary after meeting with Burrell’s family last week.
Burrell was convicted twice of killing 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002, but recent reporting by the Associated Press and other news media has brought up evidence that cast doubt on Burrell's guilt. Burrell, now 33, has spent more than half his life in prison.
Klobuchar, throughout her political career, has used Burrell’s conviction to trumpet her commitment to racial justice, but she has faced increasing criticism from the African American community in Minnesota and national media following the AP report.
Burrell's attorney Dan Guerrero said he’s “really hopeful” his client will be exonerated.
"I've reviewed the investigation and the two trials and prosecutions in the case and there is really nothing that I saw that definitively says Myon is guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted," Guerrero said.
MPR News reporter Nina Moini and the Associated Press contributed to this story.
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