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Prosecutor: Child porn emerges in murder investigation

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News Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Bulletin
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Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

A new dimension to the case involving five teens accused of murder in the death of a Woodbury girl emerged Wednesday in Washington County District Court.

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During the initial hearing for Alexander Lee Claussen, Assistant Washington County Attorney Imran Ali noted that evidence collected in the case has turned up cellphone files that include suspected child pornography.

Ali later said the phone with the alleged child porn did not belong to Claussen, one of five people charged with third-degree murder in the overdose death of Woodbury High School student Tara Fitzgerald. Washington County prosecutors accused each of the five people of having a hand in distributing the synthetic drugs that led to Fitzgerald’s death.

Also at the hearing, Ali said he will not offer a plea deal to Claussen, who is accused of being at the top of the distribution chain.

“I am asking for a prison disposition at this time,” he said.

Claussen’s case was set for an Aug. 8 pre-trial hearing.

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Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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