A Hennepin County judge on Tuesday swiftly rejected a deadline extension sought by attorneys for a former Brooklyn Center police officer charged with one felony for killing a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop in April.
Judge Regina Chu issued the short order denying the request filed on behalf of Kimberly Potter by lawyers Paul Engh and Earl Gray. The lawyers accused prosecutors of "sandbagging" Potter's defense by not disclosing whether they intend to file additional charges against her.
Chu said the case is no different from any other in that prosecutors can add charges against the defendant at any time until a verdict is reached. "The court, however, has not been apprised the state has any such intentions," she wrote.
Potter is charged with one count of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. But prosecutors have faced public pressure to add a third-degree murder charge.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput filed the manslaughter charge three days after Wright's death. Protesters demonstrated at Orput's home in Stillwater, and the case was reassigned in May to state Attorney General Keith Ellison.
The defense lawyers said in their motion that the state has "intimated" that additional charges will be filed. The lawyers argued for the delay, saying the defense doesn't know whom to call for expert testimony until the charges are known.
The names of defense experts are to be disclosed by Aug. 30, with their reports filed two weeks later.
Engh also wrote in the motion that the shooting was accidental, saying Potter believed she was holding a Taser when she shot Wright while he attempted to flee and "obviate an arrest warrant issued by the Hennepin County District Court."
Potter, who was arrested in April, was freed after posting a $100,000 bond. Her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 30 in Hennepin County District Court.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747