Murder charges dismissed in toddler’s death

Published 9:40 am Friday, January 13, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — A Hennepin County judge has thrown out murder charges filed against a man in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

Twenty-five-year-old Melvonte Peterson was driving a minivan with his 15-month-old daughter and his girlfriend’s child last July when the vehicle was struck by gunfire in Minneapolis.

Prosecutors contend Peterson was carrying a loaded gun in the van and was looking for a fight in known gang territory. A car pulled up to the minivan and the driver opened fire on the minivan, killing the 2 year old and wounding Peterson’s daughter.

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According to a press release, police arrested a person two weeks after the shooting, but prosecutors declined to issue charges.

Judge Regina Chu dismissed charges against Peterson, saying that holding him responsible “defies common sense.”