Murder charge dropped in 2018 Rochester shooting

Move comes after two mistrials.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 4:25 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 4:33 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – After two mistrials, the murder charge against a Rochester man has been dismissed.

The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office filed the dismissal Monday, one day before a hearing was to be held on a possible third trial for Alexander William Weiss, 26.

“It is a difficult decision, telling a family we cannot move forward to bring justice for a loved one’s death,” states County Attorney Mark Ostrem. “I believe strongly that Mr. Weiss’ decision to shoot Muhammed Rahim was unjustified. The law requires that deadly force be employed only after other attempts to avoid danger have been made and there is no other option.”

Weiss was charged with 2nd degree murder in January 2018 after he shot the 17-year-old Rahim following a traffic collision. At both of his trials, one in May 2019 and one in October 2019, Weiss claimed the shooting was in self-defense and both times the jury could not agree on a unanimous verdict.

“Muhammed Rahim died January 14, 2018, as a tragic result of a series of choices by many people,” continues Ostrem, “including Mr. Weiss’ decision to brandish and discharge his weapon. It is my hope that the circumstances of this death will be an opportunity for our community to learn how to respond without aggression to ordinary occurrences in daily life.”

Below is the official statement released by the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office:

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