A white former security guard who concocted a false report of being shot by a black man to cover-up a self-inflicted gun wound may avoid jail time, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.
Ramsey County District Judge Nicole Starr sentenced Brent Ahlers, 35, to one-year probation and $4,500 restitution.
Judge Starr additionally sentenced Ahlers to six sessions of a group led by Judge George Stephenson for men with lives impacted by the criminal justice system.
The group is primarily African-American.
“I’ll expect you’ll have something to say that’s a little bit more than ‘I’m sorry,’” Judge Starr said.
If Ahlers doesn’t meet the conditions, Starr said she will send him to jail for 60 days.
On September 12, Ahlers called 911 to report he’d been shot by a black male with “a short Afro” whom he’d confronted for smoking marijuana on the St. Catherine University.
Ahlers false report resulted in the university temporarily shutting down during in a manhunt involving 55 police officers, four dogs and air support.
“I am sorry for the event in general and the fear and pain I caused,” Ahlers said at his sentencing.
The president of the African American Leadership Council, Tyrone Terrill, criticized Judge Starr for going to easy on Ahlers.
“He should have gotten the maximum on everything,” Terrill said. “When you say you have an active shooter in the community … it’s only by the grace of God that nobody got hurt.”
Terrill, who attends Judge Stephenson’s men’s group, intends to ask Ahlers tough questions.
“It’s not going to change him … But I think he will feel the wrath of our community,” Terrill said.