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Duluth court to reconsider adult status for accused Lincoln Park shooter

The question of whether a teen accused of shooting two Lincoln Park store clerks should be tried as an adult is back before a Duluth judge. The case against Steven Albert Cooper was returned to Duluth after being reviewed by the Minnesota Supreme...

The question of whether a teen accused of shooting two Lincoln Park store clerks should be tried as an adult is back before a Duluth judge.

The case against Steven Albert Cooper was returned to Duluth after being reviewed by the Minnesota Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals.

Cooper, now 17 but 15 at the time of the shootings, was charged in adult court with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree aggravated robbery in connection with the Nov. 6, 2006, shooting of Christopher Davis and Daniel Warner, who were working at the Interstate Spur convenience store at 2700 W. Michigan St.

Judge Shaun Floerke ruled in May 2007 that Cooper should stand trial as an adult, but the state public defender's office appealed his decision.

The Court of Appeals affirmed Floerke's decision last year, but then the Supreme Court asked it to take a second look based on a recent ruling about what evidence is permissible in deciding whether a juvenile case should go to adult court.

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The Court of Appeals then sent the case back to Duluth, saying the district court improperly relied on Cooper's uncharged conduct toward social workers, teachers and fellow students as factors in helping to determine that he should be tried as an adult.

St. Louis County Attorney Melanie Ford said today that the county's position continues to be that the teenager should be certified to stand trial as an adult.

Public defender Rebecca Shaw said the teenager's case should be heard in juvenile court.

The date for the next hearing in the case has not been scheduled.

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