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Hezekiah Hamilton will not be charged with murder of Jody Patzner Jr., to be released

Minneapolis police thought they had their man last Wednesday when they arrested Hezekiah Hamilton in connection with the April 9 murder of Jody Patzner Jr. Turns out the Hennepin County attorney's office isn't as convinced.

The Star Tribune, citing comments made by attorney's office spokesman Chuck Laszewski, reports that Hamilton, 24, will not be charged with murder and will be released from custody today.

Hamilton's mom told the Strib that Hezekiah was in a nearby convenience store at the time of the shooting, and that surveillance video from the store would prove it. Sgt. Steve McCarty of the Minneapolis Police Department said police were aware of the surveillance footage before arresting Hamilton but still thought they had sufficient evidence to justify murder charges.

McCarty characterized Hamilton's release as simply reflecting the fact that the attorney's office, at this time, doesn't believe there's enough evidence to charge Hamilton. He said investigators continue to track down leads in the hopes of bringing Patzner's murderer to justice.

From the Strib:

[Hamilton's mother] expressed disbelief that her son was involved, saying that he had a car.

"Why would my son need someone's bike when he's in a car?" she asked.

She said her son had been in a corner convenience store at the time of the shooting, and that surveillance video from the store would prove that. As emergency vehicles arrived on the scene, she said her son went to investigate what had happened and thought it was a car accident. "

He said, 'Momma, there's a lot of ambulance and police out there. It looked like a cab had hit somebody,'" she said.

McCarty, when asked about what police think of Hamilton's mother's account, refused to comment.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for Patzner will be held this Wednesday at 3 p.m. at St. Bridget's Church, 3811 Emerson Ave. N.

Previous coverage:
-- Hezekiah Hamilton arrested in connection with murder of Jody Patzner Jr.
-- North Minneapolis man, 22, shot to death during attempted bike robbery


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