Judge finds ex-Gopher guilty of attempted robbery

Shane Schilling will serve three years probation for the felony.

Kevin Behr

A Hennepin County judge found former Gopher men’s basketball player Shane Schilling guilty of felony attempted robbery Monday.

Schilling also faced two other felonies: auto theft and receiving stolen property.

The prosecuting attorney on the case, Assistant County Attorney Stuart Shapiro, said those charges will be dropped at the sentencing hearing because of a stipulation worked out during negotiations between the prosecution and defense.

Schilling’s punishment was also negotiated. He will serve three years of probation with extra conditions that have not yet been ironed out, Shapiro said. They will most likely require Schilling to remain a law-abiding citizen, alcohol- and drug-free and not have any contact with his victims, Shapiro said.

All of the details will be worked out at a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 7.

Monday’s “stipulated facts trial” was different from the archetypical trial with a jury. In this type of case, the defendant doesn’t plead guilty, but agrees to the facts that are presented to the judge, Shapiro said.

He said facts from the court complaint and police reports were presented to the judge, who found Schilling guilty based on the information.

“In some stipulated facts trials, you may be arguing about what the facts are going to be,” Shapiro said. “This one was more clear to everyone that the judge would find the defendant guilty.”

Schilling might have chosen a stipulated facts trial because his sentence had already been negotiated, Shapiro said.

Schilling had been in jail since he was first arrested on Nov. 21, 2006. He will be released now that the trial is over and won’t spend any more time behind bars, Shapiro said.

Schilling will not face jail time for his crimes because the state sentencing guidelines call for a probationary sentence, Shapiro said. And the judge will most likely sentence Schilling to the number of days he has already served in jail, and his service will count toward the sentence, Shapiro said.

Schilling could be forced to pay restitution to the owner of the vehicle he stole, but since the vehicle was returned undamaged, that isn’t likely, Shapiro said.

According to the court complaint, Schilling was first arrested on Nov. 17, 2006 for auto theft and receiving stolen property after police in Orono, Minn., found him driving a pickup truck with license plates belonging to a car.

Police did not take him into custody, however, and he skipped town. Schilling ended up on the University campus four days later.

On the evening of Nov. 21, he attacked a student on Washington Avenue Southeast just outside the University Police Department headquarters, according to the police report.

Schilling punched the student and ran away empty-handed, but police tracked him down within minutes and arrested him for attempted robbery.

Schilling’s public defender declined to comment.