Minn. high court to hear age-verificaton case of homicide suspectby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the age verification case of triple-homicide suspect Mahdi Hassan Ali.
Ali's attorney Fred Goetz says he doesn't know when arguments will begin. However, he said the hearing will likely push back the start of Ali's trial, which is currently scheduled for March 14.
Goetz is fighting a decision made last fall by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill. Cahill ruled that Ali was old enough to be tried as an adult for the killing of three men at the Seward Market in January of 2010. Goetz has tried to show that Ali was 15 and should be tried in juvenile court.
As is the case for many immigrants from war-torn Somalia, Ali's exact birth date can not be easily documented. A forensic dental expert for the state determined that x-rays of Ali's wisdom teeth made it likely that Ali was at least 16 at the time of the shooting.
In Minnesota, a person 16 years or older can be tried for murder without undergoing a certification process. A person under the age of 16 has to be certified to stand trial as an adult.
Hennepin County officials have said it doesn't matter if Ali was 15, 16 or 17, because the crimes he's accused of are too serious to be tried in juvenile court.