Grand Jury indicts State Trooper for manslaughter


by Sarah Squires

On December 16, 2014, the Grand Jury of Goodhue County was convened. After multiple days of testimony, the Grand Jury issued indictments against Scott Robert Reps for two counts of manslaughter in the second degree and one count of failure to drive with due care for conduct alleged to have occurred on July 4, 2014. The Grand Jury decided not to indict Reps on two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Pursuant to Minnesota law, the finding of a grand jury indictment is secret until the defendant’s appearance before the district court. Reps appeared in Goodhue County District Court on December 30, 2014. The next appearance for Reps is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on February 20, 2015.

According to media reports, Scott Robert Reps was involved in a double fatal crash in the city of Cannon Falls while working as a Minnesota State Trooper on July 4, 2014. Those media reports indicate that Reps was responding to a reported collision between a deer and a motorcycle at the time of the Cannon Falls crash.

Goodhue County Attorney Stephen Betcher appointed Assistant Winona County Attorneys Kevin O’Laughlin and Stephanie Nuttall as Special Assistant Goodhue County Attorneys to handle this matter on behalf of the Goodhue County Attorney’s Office. O’Laughlin and Nuttall attended the Grand Jury and will serve as the prosecutors on the case as it goes forward.

The presentation of a matter such as this before a grand jury is consistent with prior Winona County Attorney’s Office policy and precedent involving a potential charge of criminal vehicular homicide, under a gross negligence theory. Furthermore, the Winona County Attorney’s Office has previously presented cases to grand juries when law enforcement personnel were involved in a fatal incident.

Indictments and/or charges are not evidence of guilt. All persons are presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.


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