Cooper High Drop-Out Charged In North Minneapolis Murder

Update: The two Amstrong brothers arrested in connection with the murder have been released pending further investigation. A Cooper HS dropout has been formally charged with second-degree murder. All three boys were imported to District 281 with “The Choice Is Yours” program. From the MN Sun-Post February 21:

A 15-year-old Minneapolis boy, who was a student at Cooper High School in New Hope until he withdrew from classes last month, was charged with second-degree murder in Hennepin County Juvenile Court Feb. 20, in connection with the death of 70-year-old Pirkko Gaultney.

Minneapolis Police found Gaultney’s body Feb. 13, at her home in the 3600 block of Fremont Avenue North.

The 15-year-old boy was charged with one count of second-degree murder during the commission of a burglary, and one count of second-degree murder during the commission of a robbery, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is seeking to have the boy certified as an adult, according to a spokesperson from that office.

Two Minneapolis brothers, ages 15 and 16, both students at Armstrong High School in Plymouth, were arrested at school Feb. 15 in connection with the case, but were released pending further investigation, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

“It was a surprise to us when [the arrests] happened on Friday morning,” Robbinsdale District 281 Superintendent Stan Mack said. “When plain-clothes officers from the Minneapolis Police Department came to the school to arrest the students, they were appropriately in class. There was no disobedience involved.”

All three of the boys were open- enrolled in their respective District 281 high schools as ninth-graders as part of the Choice Is Yours program, Superintendent Stan Mack said.

The Choice is Yours program is the result of a Minneapolis School District lawsuit through which suburban districts are mandated to accept Minneapolis students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

“It was a surprise to us when [the arrests] happened, ” Mack responds. It’s not surprising to those used to problems some imported students bring to our schools… and now we have the unhappy distinction of having an accused murderer attending Cooper. It’s time concerned residents and suburban districts work together to end the Choice is Yours mandate.

Pirkko Gaultney

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One Response to “Cooper High Drop-Out Charged In North Minneapolis Murder”

  1. nrbeecher Says:

    I have a hard time in thinking that you would throw the baby out with the bathwater. Robbinsdale Area Schools have an enrollment problem. By “working together to end the Choice is yours mandate” you bring on a lot more program cuts, teacher cuts, etc. The article does not mention how many students from the Minneapolis District go to Middle and High Schools in Robbinsdale. Only that this one boy was a drop out from Cooper and lived in Minneapolis. Perhaps it should be that the Choice is Yours Program should check the discipline records of the students openly enrolled instead of just throwing out the whole program.

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