Reporter | Breaking news, crime and corrections

Liz Sawyer covers breaking news, crime and corrections for the Star Tribune. She previously wrote about suburban life in the south metro.

Sawyer graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in newspaper and online journalism. She worships her alma mater's college hoops team and believes that an orange is, in fact, a suitable mascot.


Minnesota correctional facilities see first coronavirus cases

An inmate at Moose Lake prison and a corrections officer at the Red Wing juvenile facility each tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, marking…


Arbitrator upholds firing of St. Paul officer who stood by during assault

Nate Smith was among five officers dismissed last summer.


Amid spreading virus, Minnesota's first responders try to keep themselves safe

Firefighters, paramedics and police are particularly vulnerable.


Minnesota Department of Corrections seeks to stop in-person hearings for inmates

Some judges "have insisted" that inmates appear in court, instead of with remote hearings, the agency said.


Charges: Chicago man shoots partygoer at Oakdale hotel, asks girlfriend to hide the gun

Both men are expected to survive.


Low-level jail bookings, court hearings and fines suspended to avoid spread of virus

Public defenders are also rallying to release nonviolent inmates


State Public Defender pushes for release of jail inmates because of coronavirus

The State Public Defender’s Office is rallying its staff to demand the release of jail inmates across Minnesota to protect them from the spread of…


Federal courts suspend all trials; Minnesota state courts limit some

The federal court system in Minnesota has suspended all jury trials for civil and criminal cases, effective immediately through late April in response to the novel coronavirus.


Minnesota corrections officials halt prison visitors, volunteers

Corrections officials strive to avoid infection in the contained environments.


St. Paul mother 'snapped' before throwing son off 4th-floor balcony, charges say

The 11-year-old autistic child was seriously injured, but doctors expect him to survive.