Fair Comment and Criticism, blog post by John Hoff
Officer Targeted As A Diversion?
As promised in a "breaking news" blog post, here is everything The Adventures of Johnny Northside blog can dig up about Andrew Neal, suspected of targeting a Minneapolis police officer in the manner of the fatal targeting of two New York police officers...
Or so says the first version of the story.
Looking at the facts, JNS blog can't help but think the shooting may have been a desperate and stupid effort to create a diversion and pull off an escape while this suspect was being sought upon suspicion of burglary and domestic aggravated assault. We shall see.
Click here to visit Andrew Neal's Facebook page. He calls himself a "local truck driver" and states an affiliation with Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Record As Long As My Arm
The Star Tribune notes this guy has a long record. Well, here is the long record in question:
Note the four previous counts of attempted murder and/or aiding and abetting murder. All these attempted murder charges were dropped in the course of legal proceedings.
In fact, let's look at the resolution of all these charges.
Taking them in order...
In the first set of charges, everything was dismissed except the "alcohol concentration" within hours of driving, for which he did a day in the workhouse with 29 days suspended. There was a probation violation hearing. The guy couldn't stay out of trouble.
In the next set of charges he was convicted of giving a false name to the police and the alias was documented: Neal Drew. There were warrant requests issued as, once again, he couldn't stay out of trouble.
Motor Vehicle Tampering
In 1994, he was found guilty of tampering with a motor vehicle. And here is where I first see the confusion about whether this guy has "NMN" (no middle name) or whether he has a middle name that starts with "J" as some media are reporting. It matters little as he can be identified with his birthday of 10/14/1971.
Murderous (Allegedly) Witness Tampering (Guilty)
In 1995 he was charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and witness tampering, though the aiding and abetting thing was dropped and he was convicted of witness tampering. The history of whether he went to prison or just got probation is such a mess I confess I can't quite figure it out, but it certainly looks like a long litany of second, third and fourth chances.
Why did the system treat this guy so well? Does he have a pleasing personality when he's not assaulting you?
In 1996 there were three counts of attempted murder against him, and three counts of second degree assault. He was convicted of two assault charges, all the attempted murder charges were dropped. Neal was sentenced but then the sentence was "modified" and then it was "amended" and hard time was "stayed." Toward the end, there, it looks like he was doing "community service." Yes, "community service" for charges that started out as three murder attempts but then got knocked down to something lesser.
A Period Where Neal "Turned His Life Around?"
Wow, from 1996 to 2005 there were no new charges in Minnesota. Was he in prison? Or Chicago? Or actually trying to walk the straight and narrow?
I vote for Chicago.
But in 2005 he was convicted for driving after suspension.
Attempted Murder Charges--Dropped--AGAIN!
In 2007 he was charged with attempted murder, two counts of assault, and possessing a pistol or assault weapon after being convicted of a crime. He was convicted of merely one assault charge, but the time was hard: 132 months in jail, with credit for 444 days served. Here is a link to what may have been his "welcome to prison" mug shot.
As recently as April of last year, there was activity in this case as some kind of motion was denied.
Driving Around, Waiting To Go To Prison?
Apparently while awaiting a resolution of the 2007 charges, Neal was charged with failure to produce proof of insurance, driving after suspension, and a cracked windshield. The cracked windshield was thrown out, which is good, because what can you do with a cracked windshield? (Weak little attempt at levity, there, by the blogger)
He got credit for 90 days served.
Not Long Out Of Prison And Back Into Trouble?
The MN DOC website shows that Neal was on supervised probation as of 12/12/2013. His supervision was not set to expire until 3/14/2018. During his period of freedom, Neal was an active Facebook user with 96 friends. His list of friends is notable for being overwhelmingly composed of attractive females; a couple of which appear to be escorts, strippers and/or porn models but in any case his Facebook friends are overwhelmingly young females.
Um, He's From Crystal
In North Minneapolis, we don't get THAT much crime from Crystal. We have our own local population of criminals, and then plenty of folks from "The Two Brooklyns" (Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center) and plenty of no-accounts hailing from Chicago. So a career criminal who makes his life in Crystal, well, that's more of a rarity.
His specific address in Crystal is 6621 Corvallis Ave. N., a house which seems to be for sale right now at $164,900. It also comes up as the home address of somebody named "Tequilla Neal."
Andrew Neal (whether he has a middle name or not) remains innocent until and unless proven guilty...despite the criminal record as long as my arm.