Attorney General Ellison secures conviction in attempted murder of police officer, bystanders

Devin Weiland convicted in Freeborn County for shooting Albert Lea police officer and two innocent bystanders in a November 2020 standoff during which he shot more than 80 rounds

Attorney General’s Office prosecuted case on referral from Freeborn County Attorney’s office

September 19, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today secured the conviction in Freeborn County of Devin Weiland on three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, including one count of attempted murder of a police officer, and three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. Today’s conviction comes in connection with a November 29, 2020 standoff during which Weiland shot more than 80 rounds, including ones that shot and injured Albert Lea Police Department Officer Kody Needham, as well as resident who lived at the same apartment complex and a neighbor who drove by the complex on his way to work. After a week of testimony, a Freeborn County jury deliberated for two and a half hours before convicting Weiland on all six counts.

Attorney General Ellison accepted prosecution of this case upon referral from the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Sec. 8.01. Since 2019, attorneys of the Criminal Division of Attorney General Ellison’s office have prosecuted 38 cases of serious violent crime in 22 counties across Minnesota, including cases of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, criminal vehicular homicide, and criminal sexual assault. To date, Attorney General Ellison’s Office has not lost a single one of these cases. Since 2019, Attorney General Ellison has repeatedly asked the Legislature to fund more prosecutors for the Criminal Division, which the Minnesota Senate has refused to provide.

“Weiland’s attempted murder of a police officer and two innocent bystanders is reprehensible, and the jury’s verdict was just and proper. I commend the jury for their hard work and the attorneys in my office for successfully pursuing justice,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Above all, my thoughts today are with to the victims of this crime — first and foremost, Officer Needham and those who were injured and their family members. My thoughts also go out to all the members of the Albert Lea Police Department and the entire community of Albert Lea. We rely on police to step into dangerous situations like this one was and try to resolve them as peacefully as possible, and they deserve our thanks for it.

“I took this case on the request of the Freeborn County Attorney because under the law, it is my job to assist our county attorneys when they ask for the help. When an officer is attacked in an incident like this and a prosecutor asks for my help, I will seek justice for victims and prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Attorney General Ellison concluded.

Weiland’s sentencing is scheduled for December 19, 2022 in Freeborn County.