Allen Scarsella, 24, was charged two weeks ago with shooting five protesters at the 4th Precinct protest for Jamar Clark. At the time, he faced five counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and another for second-degree armed riot. Conviction on all counts meant a maximum of 55 years in prison.
Tuesday morning, a Hennepin County attorney announced at Scarsella's bail hearing that she wanted to amp one of those assault charges to first-degree. Judge Hilary Caligiuri then raised Scarsella's bail to half a million dollars.
First-degree assault charges are typically reserved for intentional crimes that result in serious injury. When Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman first presented charges against Scarsella and the three men who accompanied him on Nov. 23, Freeman said the charges were the most severe the four could have received, given the evidence that law enforcement had at the time. He hinted that charges might be increased if one of the victims, who had been shot in the stomach, gave police his medical records.
Since then, the prosecutor has received those medical records, in addition to other evidence that may point to premeditation, a spokesman said. Those details aren't available until the Hennepin County Attorney's Office formally files its amended complaint next week.