Minn. high court to review defense of dwelling law

WASECA, Minn. (AP) — A Waseca man is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to decide whether his self-defense rights under the state’s “defense of dwelling” laws extends to his apartment’s shared hallway.

Daniel Devens encountered an intoxicated man in October 2011 in the shared second-floor hallway. The man was knocking loudly, and Devens asked him to leave the building.

The Mankato Free Press reports (http://bit.ly/VvEpSf ) the two men’s accounts vary at this point, but they struggled.

A jury later convicted Devens of felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor fifth-degree assault.

Devens appealed his third-degree conviction, saying the jury should have been given the “defense of dwelling” instructions during trial. The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied his appeal and affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling by Aug. 30.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

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