Wright County's controversial handling of Eddie Mosley's rape charge may have had deadly consequences.
Last month, Mosley, 34, received a summons in the mail at his St. Louis home informing him he'd been charged with raping a 15-year-old relative in Minnesota last October and would have to appear in a Wright County court about two weeks later. He was not taken into custody, the idea being that he didn't pose a threat to his accuser from hundreds of miles away.
But less than a week after Mosley received the summons, he allegedly stormed into the Brooklyn Park home of daycare provider DeLois Brown, murdered Brown and her elderly parents, then fled the scene and headed back to St. Louis before being arrested on April 13. Mosley thought his rape accuser might be in Brown's home, police say.
[jump] So why didn't Wright County request that St. Louis authorities take Mosley into custody and extradite him to Minnesota? The Star Tribune reports that Brian Lutes, Wright County's chief criminal prosecutor, thought he was following a Minnesota rule in criminal procedure stipulating that an arrest warrant is needed only if "an arrest is necessary to prevent imminent harm." Lutes said "there was no indication of imminent danger" to Mosley's accuser or anybody else in this case.
But during an appearance on Dan Barreiro's KFAN radio show yesterday, Twin Cities lawyer Ron Rosenbaum said the idea Mosley didn't present a threat to his accuser is "insane."
"It's a mystery to me why they wouldn't have issued an arrest warrant and extradited him," Rosenbaum said. "This was a summons to appear here, [and] every mile he gets closer to [Wright County] definitionally brings him closer to the victim."
While saying he wouldn't go as far as to pin blame for the triple homicide on Wright County officials, Rosenbaum said the way Mosley's rape charge was handled "doesn't make sense."
"I don't buy the rationale that was given... nobody is going to look you in the eye and tell you that first-degree criminal sexual conduct is a nonviolent crime," he said.
Understandably, Brown's family is also baffled by the fact Mosley remained free after being charged with felony rape.
The Star Tribune quotes DeLois Brown's brother as asking several times during an interview, "Why send a summons in the mail?"
Said Rosenbaum: "I think the family has an absolutely legitimate beef."
Mosley now faces three counts of second-degree murder in addition to the rape charge.