Mississippi-born Lofton, an assistant Hennepin County attorney, has been involved with some of the Twin Cities’ highest-profile violent crime cases of the past five years.
He secured a conviction in the trial of Anthony Sawina, who was later sentenced to 39 years for shooting and injuring two Somali youths in a 2016 bias attack.
He helped shepherd the case of Kabaar Powell, who seriously injured three siblings after plowing into a playground while fleeing police in 2018, to a guilty plea that produced a 33-month sentence. He prosecuted former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Tichich, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman while off-duty.
And he was second chair on the nationally watched trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was sentenced to 12½ years in prison this June for the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk.
Naturally, the Noor trial shined a bright spotlight on Lofton and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“I would be lying if I said the spotlight didn’t play a role,” he said. Even with the attendant scrutiny, Lofton doesn’t sound like a man ready to give up the prosecutor’s chair. Two aspects of his job stand out, he said: “Number one, you deal with issues of constitutional law on a daily basis; and, number two, criminal cases go to trial. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be in the courtroom, and be in control of my own cases.”
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