2nd Teen Expected in Court in Connection to Brutal St. Paul Beating

Updated: 01/15/2014 1:53 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

A second teenager is expected in court on Wednesday in connection to the brutal beating of a St. Paul man.

A judge will consider whether the 15-year-old will be certified as an adult for allegedly beating Ray Widstrand.  

Back in August, Widstrand was walking through his neighborhood when he got caught in the chaos of a fight that spilled into the street from a house party. Widstrand was nearly beaten to death. Now, he's dealing with a brain injury and is missing part of his skull.

Prosecutors say Widstrand was hit in the head and knocked unconscious. They say that for 15 minutes a group of about 10 gang members repeatedly kicked, dragged and punched him. They also allegedly stripped off his shorts to rob him.

On Tuesday, a jury found 17-year-old Cindarion Butler guilty of one count each of assault in the first degree and aggravated robbery in the first degree in the attack of Widstrand. Butler was found not guilty of two counts of committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.

The jury found aggravating factors that will be used at sentencing, which is set for March 25.

“Tonight’s verdict is a small measure of justice for the victim who was brutally beaten and left for dead on the streets of St. Paul’s East Side,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said after the verdict was announced Tuesday. “We look forward to the sentencing phase of this case as well as any additional hearings in connection with this horrific incident.”

The defense attorney for Butler says the state didn't prove their case. He claims there is no evidence that the teen took part in the attack and his client isn't a gang member.

As for the other suspects in this case, one juvenile has pleaded guilty in the beating and two others still have cases going, including the 15-year-old.

A 19-year-old man was found not guilty back in November.