Maple Grove Police Submit 2009 Death Case for Manslaughter Charges
The 2009 death of a Maple Grove man that was initially deemed inconclusive is getting a second look from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
The Maple Grove Police Department has asked Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty to consider filing manslaughter charges against two men in the death of Robbie Anderson.
Anderson was 19 when he died under mysterious circumstances while drinking in a basement with friends in December 2009.
In 2022, Anderson’s family exhumed his body and hired an independent medical examiner to perform a second autopsy. Maple Grove police shared the results of that second autopsy with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Commander Jon Wetternach of the Maple Grove Police Department says the case is “an open and active investigation.”
Meanwhile, Nicholas Kimball, a spokesperson from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, issued this statement:
We extend our deepest sympathies to Robbie Anderson’s family. No parent should ever have to go through what they have for all these years. Now that we have received a re-referral from law enforcement, we will review the case again from scratch with multiple senior attorneys participating in that review. We expect that review to take about 30 days.
Some additional background: As prosecutors we have an obligation to pursue cases only when we have enough admissible evidence to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, in a homicide case we must be able to prove cause and manner of death beyond a reasonable doubt. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a highly technical standard that must consider the rules of evidence. We cannot rely on inadmissible evidence. And we must be able to prove a case to a point where no reasonable person could disagree with the conclusion. All other reasonable explanations must be eliminated. The existence of an unwavering conclusion by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner that the cause and manner of death is inconclusive has been a significant obstacle up to this point to proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt.”