Around Cook County
Frank Moe, a ten dog team and contingent of mushing supporters gather in Harbor Park Thursday to begin an eight day trek to the State Capitol with petitions against sulfide mining near the BWCAW. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Moe Wednesday morning.
(Click on "attached file" below to hear the report)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota man charged with shooting a prosecutor and witness after he was found guilty of a sex crime told authorities he planned to hurt the prosecutor if convicted to give him "something to remember" for a case that he said was wrecking his life, according to a charges filed Monday.
Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, was charged Monday with six counts, including two counts of premeditated first-degree attempted murder, in last Thursday's shooting in the Cook County courthouse in far northeastern Minnesota. He appeared in a Duluth courtroom, and was held on $2 million bail.
The shooting happened moments after a jury convicted Schlienz on one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 16 and acquitted him on another criminal sex count. Schlienz wasn't taken into custody after that verdict, and authorities said there was no indication he would do anything violent.
According to the complaint, Schlienz had been planning the attack. He told a former girlfriend the night before the verdict that he had a plan if things didn't go his way, but wouldn't elaborate, saying "you'll know it when you see it," the complaint said.
"He said that it was not his intention to kill anyone, but rather he wanted to hurt them and give them something to remember, indicating they had screwed with the wrong guy," the complaint said. "Defendant indicated he did not have a plan for escape and was thinking of suicide or being shot by a cop."
The shooting left Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell, 45, and Greg Thompson, 53, both of Grand Marais, hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds. Scannell was in fair condition Monday; Thompson, who was a witness in the case, was in good condition.
Schlienz's defense is being handled by the public defender's office. Chief Public Defender Fred Friedman said he had no comment Monday and an attorney would be assigned once officials know where the case will be tried.
The state attorney general's office is prosecuting the case. According to the charges, after Schlienz heard the guilty verdict, he went to his car and got a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol, which he had picked up from his home while the jury was deliberating. He then went back into the courthouse - which does not have a metal detector - and shot Thompson as he was leaving Scannell's office, authorities said. He then allegedly shot Scannell in the chest - missing his heart by two inches - and went back into the hall and shot Thompson again.
Scannell went into his assistant county attorney's office, but Schlienz pushed himself inside, authorities said. They said Schlienz's mother, Scannell, the assistant county attorney and the bailiff struggled with Schlienz to try to disarm him. Scannell was shot again.
Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken, and the bailiff, Gary Radloff, disarmed Schlienz, but he then grabbed Radloff's weapon and fired it, the charges said. Authorities who responded to the shooting found Radloff trying to pin Schlienz to the floor. Schlienz resisted arrest and authorities used a stun gun multiple times, the complaint said.
Authorities said when they searched Schlienz, he had nine bullets in his pocket, six of which had altered tips with hatch marks. He admitted he altered the bullets about a year ago, and used them because he thought they would inflict greater damage, the complaint said. He claimed he was upset that he was convicted of a crime he did not commit.
He told authorities he initially targeted Scannell, but decided to shoot Thompson after he heard Thompson thank Scannell for his work on a case that Schlienz felt was "wrecking my life," the complaint said.
Schlienz's sexual misconduct trial goes back to a 2005 incident. He had agreed to a plea deal calling for him to serve no more than four months in jail, but instead was sentenced to a year. Schlienz appealed but still served that year. He got a new trial after the state Court of Appeals said Schlienz should have been allowed to withdraw his plea once the district court disregarded the agreement.
By AMY FORLITI
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, was charged today in St. Louis County District Court with two counts of premeditated attempted first-degree murder. The charges were made by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
Additionally, Schlienz was charged with one count of assault in the 4th degree, one count of possession of a dangerous weapon with ammunition within a courthouse, one count of resisting arrest and one count of possession of a weapon by a felon.
"The shooting of a prosecutor and trial witness inside a courthouse strikes at the foundation of the pillars of justice," Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement released with news of the charges. The attorney general's office is prosecuting Schlienz at the request of the Cook County attorney.
Schlienz is accused of shooting Cook County Attorney Timothy Scannell, 45, and Gregory Thompson, 53. Thompson was subpoenaed as a witness at Schlienz's trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct. Schlienz had been found guilty by a jury minutes before the shootings.
The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal reports this morning that the man accused in Thursday’s shooting and struggle in the Cook County Courthouse is remorseful for what happened.
“He knows he’s done for,” Gary Schlienz said of a conversation he had with his son, Daniel Schlienz, on Friday at the Cook County Jail in Grand Marais. “He knows there’s no getting around this.”
Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, is to be charged in St. Louis County District Court today with shooting two men late Thursday afternoon in a courthouse assault that followed his conviction for criminal sexual conduct.
Schlienz has been transferred to the St. Louis County Jail in Duluth.
The victims, Cook County attorney Tim Scannell, 45, and Greg Thompson, 53, of Grand Marais, who had been subpoenaed as a witness in the sexual conduct case, remained at Duluth’s Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center on Saturday.
Hospital spokeswoman Beth Johnson said. Scannell was in fair condition and Thompson in good condition. Johnson said both would be in hospital at least through the weekend.
Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said the suspect retrieved his handgun from his vehicle after the jury found him guilty of criminal sexual conduct. He then went to Scannell’s office with the loaded weapon, said Falk, adding Thompson was in the office.
Thompson was shot in the leg but was able to run out of the office. Scannell was shot while taking cover behind a counter, said Falk.
He said the suspect left the office and came across Thompson on a nearby landing. Thompson was shot again.
At that point Schlienz’s defence attorney came to Scannell’s aid.
Falk said the bailiff, Deputy Gary Radloff, 70, of Grand Marais, heard the gunshots. He cleared the jury and judge from the courtroom, and followed the sound of the shots.
Cook County Commissioner Sue Hakes has announced that the Cook County courthouse, closed after a shooting incident at approximately 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, will re-open on Tuesday, December 20. Some meeting schedules and locations have been changed.
The courthouse was closed to allow the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension (BCA) to investigate the shooting that occurred in the county attorney’s office at the conclusion of a criminal sexual conduct case. The defendant in that trial, Daniel Sidney Schlienz, 42, was arrested at the scene of the shooting. He is now incarcerated at Cook County jail. Charges will be announced on Monday, December 19.
Injured in the incident were two shooting victims—County Attorney Tim Scannell and a subpoenaed witness in the trial that had just ended, Greg Thompson. Cook County Sheriff Deputy/Court Bailiff Gary Radloff was injured in a struggle with Schlienz, as was Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken. They were transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital in Grand Marais where they were treated and released.
Scannell and Thompson were transported by Cook County Ambulance to Essentia Health Medical Center in Duluth, MN, arriving at approximately 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. At the press conference, Sheriff Falk said at the time of transport, both men were conscious and talking.
Contacted by phone on December 16, Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center spokeswoman Beth Johnson confirmed the injuries reported. Tim Scannell was shot three times—twice in the abdomen, once in the groin area. He underwent surgery at 9 p.m. and came through surgery well. Johnson said his condition is “fair.”
On Friday, December 16, the MN Department of Public Safety, along with the Cook County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension held a press conference following the shooting at the Cook County Courthouse on Thursday, December 15.
Video by Stephan Hoglund.