Judge wants case of trooper charged in killing of motorist to go to trial this summer

man in red tie and suit stands in crowd
Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan stands among supporters after making his first court appearance on Jan. 29.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

The judge overseeing the murder case involving a state trooper said in court Friday that she wants the trial to take place within about a year of the fatal shooting.

In a scheduling hearing held in Hennepin County District Court, Judge Tamara Garcia also told prosecutors and defense attorneys to hash out as many pre-trial issues as possible before a hearing scheduled for later this month. 

Trooper Ryan Londregan is charged with second degree murder, first degree assault and second degree manslaughter for the killing of motorist Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis on the early morning of July 31. The murder charge requires that Londregan be convicted of the underlying assault charge.

Londregan fired at Cobb as he and his partner tried to force Cobb out of his car, which was moving forward at the time, according to released body camera footage. Cobb was declared dead at the scene.

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Defense attorneys for Londregan, who chose to waive his right to appear in court, have asked for prosecutors to turn over more evidence from the investigation and materials from an investigative grand jury on the case. Prosecutors argue that they have already turned over all relevant materials. Assistant County Attorney Joshua Larson said excessive defense “discovery demands are an attempt to prosecute the prosecution.”

Defense attorney Christopher Madel said he outlined seven areas where he wants more evidence released in an email to prosecutors Friday morning but did not identify the issues in court. The parties met in the judge’s quarters after the hearing to discuss the release of evidence.

Garcia has already scheduled a pretrial omnibus hearing on the case for April 29.

Defense attorneys signaled that Londregan, who is free on conditions, may again skip his next court appearance.

In a ruling last month, Garcia denied a motion from prosecutors that would have restricted the public’s access to evidence and motions in the case for at least two business days. MPR News was part of a media coalition that successfully challenged that motion.