Family Fights for Justice in Brutal Beating of Son on St. Paul's East Side

Updated: 01/14/2014 7:33 PM By: Todd Wilson

Ray Widstrand struggles daily as he recovers from a brain injury from a beating on St. Paul's East Side this summer. He's still missing part of his skull.

The beating happened back in August. Police say Widstrand was taking a late-night walk when he walked by a group of 30 to 50 teens and young adults who were fighting. The group attacked him and almost killed him.

Friday morning Widstrand decided he would sit in the courtroom as the trial continued for one of those suspects.

Shortly after entering the trial Ray was asked to leave the courtroom. He told KSTP he doesn't understand what all the fuss was about. He also told KSTP he had a good reason for being there.

"I went to the trial to support my mother and my family," he said.

But defense attorney Christopher Zipko objected to his presence.

"And then all of a sudden he was told to leave. That he needed to get out of the courtroom," Linda Widstrand said.

Zipko is representing the 17-year-old charged with attacking Widstrand. We called Zipko to ask why the victim was asked to leave. He says its because Widstrand is a potential witness.

"I didn't go to be a distraction or a disruption to the proceedings,"  Widstrand said.   

"It was real upsetting to me, to his dad that he was not allowed in there," his mother said.

Although he wasn't able to be in the courtroom Friday the Widstrand's know what they want in the end.

"Justice," they both said.

As for other suspects in the case, one juvenile has pleaded guilty in the beating.

Two others still have cases going through the courts and a 19-year-old man, Issaac Maiden, was found not guilty in a Ramsey County Court back in November.