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Legal Counsel: Myon Burrell, Once Sentenced to Life for Teenage Conviction but Later Released, Rebuts Fresh Allegations

by Ryan Lee
7 comments
Myon Burrell

A man from Minnesota, imprisoned as a teenager for a high-profile murder and subsequently released after 18 years due to a commuted sentence, faced new criminal charges on Friday. Authorities claimed they discovered illegal firearms and drugs in his SUV during a routine traffic stop.

Now 37, Myon Burrell had his initial court hearing on Friday, where a bail amount of $50,000 was established. His legal representative, Paul Applebaum, stated that Burrell refutes the charges against him.

“In many criminal cases, initial appearances can be deceiving,” remarked Applebaum. “I am keenly interested in the specifics that led to Mr. Burrell’s traffic stop.”

Previously, Burrell was convicted for the 2008 death of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in Minneapolis. Edwards was doing homework when she was struck by a stray bullet. Burrell was 16 years old at the time and was given a life sentence. He consistently professed his innocence, and his case brought scrutiny upon the reliability of the criminal justice system.

Investigative work by The Big Big News and APM Reports in 2020 revealed new evidence and significant lapses in the initial police investigation. This led to the assembly of an independent national legal review board to examine the case. Consequently, Burrell’s sentence was commuted after he had already spent over half of his life behind bars. However, his request for a pardon was not granted, leaving his felony conviction for first-degree murder on his record and rendering his possession of a firearm illegal.

Burrell was arrested this Tuesday and was formally charged on Friday with one count of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and one count of possession of a controlled substance. The criminal complaint asserts that authorities in suburban Robbinsdale found a Glock 17 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine in his SUV’s center console. According to state guidelines, the tentative sentence for the firearm offense is five years.

Burrell was presented before Judge Peter Cahill, who also presided over the 2021 trial of former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd—a case that catalyzed a nationwide introspection on race and law enforcement. Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22 and a half years of imprisonment.

Amidst a courtroom filled with Burrell’s family and supporters, Judge Cahill set multiple bail conditions. These include a prohibition on possessing firearms or other weapons and a mandate to abstain from illegal drugs. Burrell’s subsequent court appearance has been scheduled for October 17.

After the court hearing, Applebaum informed the media that Burrell refutes the allegations and should be able to post bail. He didn’t confirm whether Burrell had a gun or drugs in his vehicle, but suggested that if he did, Burrell might have believed he needed a firearm for personal security.

Applebaum argued, “If you’ve been brought up within the prison system, your mentality might not align with conventional norms. Given the perilous realities that often face young African American males, it’s conceivable that someone in such circumstances might possess a firearm.”

The case is being prosecuted by the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, as the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has a conflict of interest. Burrell was employed in County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s 2022 campaign, and Moriarty had previously advocated for his release in her role as a public defender.

According to the criminal complaint, Burrell was stopped by a Robbinsdale police officer for crossing the center line twice while exceeding the speed limit of 30 mph. Upon pulling him over, the officer claimed to have observed a cloud of smoke and a strong smell of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Subsequent field sobriety tests were reportedly failed by Burrell, who also resisted arrest, the complaint states.

Police allegedly discovered a backpack containing suspected marijuana, crystal-like powder capsules, suspected ecstasy pills, and a digital scale in the rear seat of his SUV. Field tests reportedly confirmed the presence of marijuana and methamphetamine. Blood and urine test results are still pending, according to the complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Myon Burrell

Who is Myon Burrell?

Myon Burrell is a 37-year-old man from Minnesota who was previously convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a high-profile murder committed when he was 16. His sentence was commuted 18 years later, and he was released. He now faces new criminal charges related to gun and drug possession.

What are the new charges against Myon Burrell?

Myon Burrell has been charged with one count of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person due to his prior conviction, and one count of possession of a controlled substance. These charges were filed after a routine traffic stop where authorities claim to have found a handgun and drugs in his SUV.

Who is presiding over the new case?

Judge Peter Cahill, who also presided over the 2021 trial of former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, is overseeing Myon Burrell’s new case.

What was the bail amount set for Myon Burrell?

The bail amount for Myon Burrell has been set at $50,000 during his initial court hearing.

Does Myon Burrell deny the new allegations?

Yes, Myon Burrell, through his attorney Paul Applebaum, has refuted the new allegations of gun and drug possession. Applebaum is particularly interested in the details surrounding the initial traffic stop that led to Burrell’s arrest.

What are the conditions set for Myon Burrell’s bail?

The conditions set for Myon Burrell’s bail include a prohibition against possessing firearms or other weapons, as well as a mandate to abstain from illegal drugs. His next court appearance has been scheduled for October 17.

Why is the Dakota County Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case?

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office is handling the prosecution because the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has a conflict of interest. Myon Burrell was employed in County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s 2022 campaign, and Moriarty had previously advocated for his release when she was a public defender.

What led to the traffic stop of Myon Burrell?

According to the criminal complaint, a Robbinsdale police officer stopped Burrell for crossing the center line twice while exceeding a speed limit of 30 mph. The officer also claimed to have detected a strong smell of marijuana coming from Burrell’s vehicle.

What did the police allegedly find in Myon Burrell’s vehicle?

The police claim to have found a Glock 17 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine in the SUV’s center console. Additionally, they allegedly discovered a backpack containing suspected marijuana, crystal-like powder capsules, suspected ecstasy pills, and a digital scale in the rear seat.

Are test results for substance use available?

Blood and urine test results are pending, according to the criminal complaint.

More about Myon Burrell

  • Myon Burrell’s Previous Conviction and Release
  • The 2021 Trial of Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin
  • Minnesota’s New Marijuana Laws Effective from July 1
  • The Role of the Dakota County Attorney’s Office in Criminal Prosecutions
  • U.S. Justice System and High-Profile Cases

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7 comments

CarEnthusiast September 2, 2023 - 3:44 am

What was he doing crossing the center line? speeding too? safety first, people! Anyway, if he’s innocent, hope the truth comes out.

Reply
PoliticalWatcher September 2, 2023 - 8:52 am

The involvement of Judge Cahill is interesting, given his role in the Chauvin case. This case is gonna get a lot of eyes, for sure.

Reply
GreenActivist September 2, 2023 - 1:44 pm

So marijuana possession’s legal in Minnesota now? Since July 1? Huh, didn’t know that. What’re the limits tho?

Reply
LegalEagle September 2, 2023 - 2:20 pm

Applebaum’s strategy looks like it’ll hinge on the initial traffic stop. Valid approach, considering how these stops can sometimes be sketchy.

Reply
FinanceGal September 2, 2023 - 9:05 pm

This case just highlights the flaws in our justice system, doesn’t it? i mean, he already spent most of his life in prison, and now new charges? makes ya think.

Reply
MotherOfThree September 2, 2023 - 11:01 pm

my heart breaks for the 11-year-old girl’s family. Whether or not Burrell was innocent of that crime, someone took that child’s life.

Reply
JohnDoe42 September 3, 2023 - 1:06 am

Whoa, this story’s got layers. Burrell’s life’s like a movie script. Didn’t he serve almost two decades for a crime he still says he didnt commit? And now this?

Reply

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