Is Prosecutor Hiding Evidence That Clears MN State Trooper of Murder?

Is Prosecutor Hiding Evidence That Clears MN State Trooper of Murder?

By Steve Pomper 

 Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty (Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication)


Some people just don’t believe the rules apply to them even if ignoring those rules risks people’s lives. You think I mean criminals, right? Well, I’m a retired cop, so, yes. But I also mean the politically motivated public officials who also don’t follow rules—especially when targeting cops?

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) and an accused trooper’s defense team are accusing Hennepin County Attorney (HCAO) Mary Moriarty of concealing exculpatory evidence that established MN. State Trooper Ryan Londregan acted to save his partner’s life when he shot suspect Ricky Cobb II in 2023.

MPPOA Statement Link

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, via MSN, during a traffic stop, the troopers became aware that the driver, Ricky Cobb II, was wanted for violating a domestic violence protection order.

Police video of the incident shows Trooper Brett Seide repeatedly telling Cobb to get out of the car before he and Trooper Ryan Londregan finally open the front doors and attempt to remove Cobb from the vehicle. Continuing to disobey the troopers’ lawful orders, Cobb put both troopers in extreme physical jeopardy when he chose to drive off while the troopers were still partially within his vehicle.

No cop has to wait for an armed suspect to fire his gun before shooting to stop the threat. Similarly, cops don’t have to wait for a driver to stomp on the gas pedal while they are partially within the suspect’s car before shooting to stop the threat.

A YouTube video posted by WCCO CBS Minnesota, showed that Cobb refused to obey the officers’ repeated orders to exit his running vehicle—a deadly weapon Cobb possessed and, the video shows, used against the troopers at the time Trooper Londregan shot him.

Like pointing a gun at the troopers but not having fired yet, that suspect could shoot at any moment. Similarly, with the troopers leaning into his vehicle, at that point, Cobb could have accelerated at any moment (which he eventually did), risking great bodily injury or death to the troopers.

When Cobb did drive forward, apparently attempting to escape, he shows a depraved disregard for the troopers’ safety, hurling both cops to the ground, as seen on the dash cam video.

In that split second, as the vehicle charged forward, concerned for his partner, Trooper Londregan fired at Cobb. At that point, Trooper Londregan couldn’t know if his partner was clear of the suspect’s vehicle or was being dragged or runover. That very nearly happened, as a YouTube video posted by the AP shows from more angles than the CBS video link above.

But even if you think it’s a bad idea to lean into the suspect’s car, that does not mean the suspect gets a freebie to injure or kill an officer. It’s also likely Trooper Londregan considered the potential dangers to the public of a police pursuit. All these considerations whirl through a cop’s mind at times like this.

On cue, the usual suspects accused Trooper Londregan of murder while elevating the suspect, Cobb, to sainthood. But, also as usual, this was not a case of a poor “victim” peacefully minding his own business when police “murdered” him—for no reason.

The “victim” was a wanted person who refused to obey lawful police commands and who was putting police officers’ lives in jeopardy at the moment he was shot. Had he cooperated he’d likely be alive today. Why’d he do it? Because he didn’t want to go to jail.

But we’re not here primarily to discuss what happened on that fateful day but what has happened since, during Mary Moriarty’s supposed quest for justice. But, it seems, the Hennepin County Prosecutor finds justice an elusive concept—especially when prosecuting cops. So, again, is Moriarty concealing evidence from Trooper Londregan’s defense team?

Well, the Star-Tribune also reported, “‘In sum, on October 13, 2023, [Jeffery] Noble, the HCAO’s handpicked expert, told the HCAO that Trooper Londregan committed no crime.’”

The defense said Noble “‘also dismantled the HCAO’s other theories of Trooper Londregan’s fault in this case,’ the motion reads.”

This prosecution’s alleged concealing of exculpatory evidence from the defense has prompted state House Republicans to call for Moriarty to resign. “House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, accused Moriarty of ‘putting her personal anti-law enforcement bias ahead of pursuit of facts and justice.’” That seems accurate.

Other government officials also spoke out against Moriarty. Farmington (MN) Police Chief Gary Rutherford, as posted on X @CrimeWatchMpls, ties actions like these to helping create “a recruiting and retention crisis in Minnesota law enforcement.” I’d argue these continuing persecutions of good cops just doing their jobs go even further. They create a hiring and retention crisis for all of United States law enforcement.


Noble, a former police chief, KSTP 75 News reported, “served as an expert in the Derek Chauvin [convicted] and Jeronimo Yanez [acquitted] prosecutions, reviewed the Londregan case for the attorney’s office, according to court filings.”

Noble also said he didn’t agree with the troopers reaching into the vehicle. However, he said this action did not negate the trooper’s justification for using lethal force to stop the defendant from harming him or his fellow trooper.

“According to court records, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office contract with Noble… includes payment of $450 per hour, plus a flat rate of $3,000 for the first four hours of deposition and witness services and $650 for every additional hour. Prosecutors said in court filings last week that they stopped communicating with a ‘witness’ and asked the unnamed person to hold off on any further work on the case.”

Why? Because they didn’t like his conclusions?

Well, according to KNSI News, “Noble made the judgment in October, months before Moriarty filed murder charges against the officer. He accused the prosecutor’s office of trying to pressure him into reconsidering.”

“The defense said in the filings this week that prosecutors ‘ignored Noble and charged Trooper Londregan’ despite Moriarty’s own expert’s findings. The motion says lead prosecutor Joshua Larson told Noble to stop working on the case.” MPRNEWS reported, Larson also filed a motion “to restrict public access to trooper murder case documents.”

Again, why?

Did Moriarty’s office shove Noble into a dark corner because his expert conclusion was inconvenient? I don’t know, but it kinda looks like it, right? Add to that Moriarty’s well-known anti-police tendencies and the argument gets stronger.


Those pesky rules require the prosecution to provide to the defense evidence favorable to their client. However, many are accusing Moriarty of hiding exculpatory evidence from the defense.

The illusionist, Moriarty, wrote, “‘The State has no knowledge that this witness [Noble] drafted or finalized any report related to this case. The State has conveyed this information to the defense, and the defense also is aware that any draft or preliminary opinions held by this witness at any point during the developing investigation would be based on an incomplete record….’”

“Based on an incomplete record…?” (If it is incomplete, it’s because of her). They also accused Noble of not providing the prosecutor’s office a complete record, since he didn’t finish his work. Umm. He didn’t finish his work—because they told him to stop working.

U.S. Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) released a statement on his House website:

Of all the anti-police officials running the City of Minneapolis – it is my belief that Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty is the most dangerous. Justice should be blind, yet Moriarty has disregarded important testimony and is bringing forward a case against an innocent man to advance her own radical activist agenda. I absolutely denounce this abuse of power, and I am calling on Mary Moriarty to resign in disgrace for politicizing the office she currently holds. As a former law enforcement officer, I stand with Trooper Ryan Londregan and all of Minnesota’s heroic law enforcement officers who have faced unfair treatment at the hands of Governor Walz and Minnesota’s DFL leaders. These unwarranted attacks on law enforcement must come to an end.

Moriarty has further accused the defense of “cherrypicking” case information to bolster their assertion that Moriarty is withholding evidence.

The defense responded exquisitely. “If your [Moriarty’s] Office truly believes we ‘cherrypicked’ something, I am confident that you will have no objection to this publication. Alternatively, please be advised that the defense has no objection to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office publishing the entire October 13, 2023 Statement on its website.”