Rochester Murder Case Goes to the Jury
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The jury in the Alexander Weiss murder trial began deliberations around 5:30 PM Monday.
The panel will resume deliberations Tuesday morning.
The jury heard testimony all last week in the Rochester man's 2nd-degree murder trial. Closing arguments were given during a long Monday afternoon session.
Prosecutor Eric Woodford repeatedly told the jury Weiss made “an unreasonable choice to escalate a verbal confrontation by brandishing a firearm. “ Weiss shot and killed 17-year-old Muhammed Rahim in January 2018 after the vehicle the teen was driving collided with Weiss’ car. Weiss had stopped to see if Rahim and his passengers needed help after their car crashed into a ditch. Moments later, the collision occurred. Weiss got out of his car to exchange information when another teenager from Rahim’s vehicle approached and that’s when the incident suddenly changed.
In his closing argument, Woodford said although Rahim and the other teen may have appeared to be aggressive towards Weiss, he was the one who “turned up the volume” when he went back to his car to get his phone and gun. Less than two minutes later, Rahim was shot. Woodford told the jury Weiss had the opportunity to run or drive away and call police.
Defense attorney James McGeeney disagreed with Woodford’s summary. He told the jury the two teenagers were the ones who escalated the situation. McGeeney said it was reasonable for Weiss to get his gun because of the threatening behavior of the teens. He also questioned the reliability of some of the prosecution witnesses.
If convicted, Weiss will face an expected prison sentence.