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Oslund Case Begins This Week
10/13/2004 3:45 PM

The trial of Richard Ashton Oslund,29, formerly of Rosemount, Minnesota, began yesterday in District Court.  Oslund, who has previous felony convictions for drug related offenses and first-degree burglary, has been charged with federal robbery affecting interstate commerce, murder with a firearm during a robbery affecting interstate commerce, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The charges stem from the November 1998 robbery of a Brink's truck parked outside of a busy Bloomington Target store and the fatal shooting of Guard William Ray Strelow. 

Despite the fact that Minnesota removed the death penalty from state sentencing laws in 1911, it was still possible for Oslund to be sentenced to death, if convicted, under federal sentencing guidelines, because of the interstate nature of the crime.  Authorities considered the death penalty for Oslund but ultimately Attorney General John Ashcroft rejected the possibility.  There was no comment made as to why the death penalty was declined in this case.  Oslund faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. 

Compiled from: 

The Star Tribune, A Onetime 'Likable Kid' Goes on Trial, by Jim Adams, and Thisweek Online,  Rosemount Man Will Not Face Death Penalty for Murder Charge, by Brett Andersen