Political News

Teen sentenced to life on Klobuchar's watch claims she 'never took the time to look into this case'

Posted February 24, 2020 9:45 p.m. EST

— A Minnesota teenager who was sentenced to life in prison under then-County Attorney Amy Klobuchar claims that she "gave the police free rein and said, 'Just bring me back a conviction,' " without studying the evidence.

The case in question is that of Myon Burrell, who was sentenced to life for the killing of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002. But now, with the backing of new evidence, Burrell's claims of innocence -- and Klobuchar's record as Hennepin County attorney -- are garnering new attention as the senator from Minnesota seeks the Democratic presidential nomination.

Burrell told ABC News' "Live Prime" in an interview that aired Monday that Klobuchar is the "source of everything that happened."

"That's what the district attorney's job is, is to either charge or not charge. You never took the time to look into this case. You never took the time to go and actually see, is this true or is this false? You know what I mean?" Burrell said of Klobuchar.

"I believe she gave the police free rein and said, 'Just bring me back a conviction.' "

Klobuchar said in a statement to CNN Monday night, "As I've said before, this case should be reviewed immediately."

"This was about an 11-year-old girl, Tyesha Edwards, who was killed while she was sitting at her kitchen table doing her homework. And as a prosecutor, our job is to convict the guilty and protect the innocent," Klobuchar said in the statement, which also pointed to a number of accountability reforms she had sought as county attorney.

"So if any evidence was not put forward or was not appropriately investigated or if new evidence has emerged that should have been discovered at the time, it must be reviewed."

The comments echo what Klobuchar said about the case at the Nevada Democratic debate earlier this month.

"It is very clear that any evidence, if there is new evidence, even old evidence, it should be reviewed by that office and by the county attorney," she said.

A recently released Associated Press investigation into Burrell's case labeled his conviction "flawed," prompting a host of groups, including the Minneapolis NAACP, to call for Klobuchar to suspend her campaign.

When asked about the report, Burrell told ABC News that he had cried when he read it.

"Because all of these years I've been in here and I've been screaming and I've been telling people that I'm innocent and I'm not supposed to be here but my voice was never heard," he said.

Burrell told ABC News he remains hopeful behind bars, even though "I lost my childhood in this place."

"I've been in here since I was a teen. All of my twenties, my thirties. I'll be 34 years old next month, you know what I mean?" he said. "So it's like, I'll never be able to get that back."

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