Rochester Man’s 10-Year Sentence for Domestic Violence Upheld
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a Rochester man's conviction and 10-year prison sentence for domestic violence.
32-year-old Karlwin Richards attempted to argue that his constitutional right against self-incrimination was violated during his trial and that the judge failed to maintain impartiality when she ordered an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines in the case. Richards decided to testify in his own defense in an effort to bolster his claims that he was acting in self-defense when he was involved in a domestic altercation in January 2020. The judge presiding in the trial denied a defense motion that called for limiting the prosecution's cross-examination to that single incident.
The judge's decision allowed the jury to hear about Richard's criminal history involving multiple domestic violence incidents over the previous five years and he was convicted of felony domestic assault, stalking, and more than a dozen counts of violating a no-contact order with the victim. In addition, the jury verdict included a finding that Richards represents a danger to the public.
The appeals court also rejected Richard's claims that the judge was impartial when she granted the prosecution's request for an upward departure and gave Richards the 120-month prison sentence. Part of his argument was a statement given by the judge at his sentencing hearing during which she expressed regret for previously being lenient to Richards in another domestic violence case.