Trial is suspended for fourth time

by Andrew Tellijohn

Because of complications with prosecuting attorney Anne Taylor’s pregnancy, Hennepin County Judge Allen Oleisky continued Puiassance Andersen’s trial again.
The case has been postponed on three other occasions — most recently Feb. 19, when the prosecution requested more time to analyze DNA evidence.
Andersen has been in custody since being captured following a high-speed chase in Eau Claire, Wis. Andersen, his brother Giezwa Andersen and another man, Antonio Burton, face several counts of aiding and abetting criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for their alleged roles in a robbery and rape last October.
The men are accused of entering the apartment of three female University students. Two of the women were raped and a car, stereo and some jewelry were stolen.
Andersen and Burton were arrested in Eau Claire on Oct. 9 after a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph. They were driving a car owned by one of the women.
A fourth man, Victor M. Porter, pleaded guilty to a first-degree burglary charge in exchange for his testimony against the other three men accused of the crimes. He will be sentenced on May 5.
Andersen’s trial is now rescheduled for March 25. After Taylor made her request for a continuance, Andersen’s attorney, Paul Schneck, asked that the charges be dropped.
“My client’s position is he wants to go to trial today or be released,” Schneck said.
Andersen also addressed Oleisky and said that he hasn’t received a speedy trial.
“My rights are being far past broken,” he said. “With all respect to Ms. Taylor being pregnant, I also have a family I need to take care of.”
Andersen’s mother left the courtroom, shouting several obscenities and claiming the court system was trying to frame her son.
Oleisky denied the motion to dismiss the charges but said if the case couldn’t begin on March 25, he would consider motions to dismiss the charges or reduce bail.
Andersen has been held in the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis since Nov. 4 when he was extradited.