Suspects in rape, robbery to return to Minnesota

Andrew Tellijohn

Eau Claire, Wis. — Two men accused of involvement in an Oct. 8 rape and burglary of two University students will be coming back to Minnesota for trial.
In Eau Claire County Circuit Court Monday, Puiassance J. Andersen, 20, and Antonio D. Burton, 20, both voluntarily agreed to return to Minnesota by waiving their right to an extradition hearing.
Later this week, when they are transferred back to Minnesota, Burton and Andersen will face charges of burglary, robbery and sexual assault stemming from the incident.
The apartment of three University students was burglarized on Oct. 8 and two of the women were raped.
Two others are also charged in the events of that evening.
The following night, Wisconsin State Patrol Troopers and members of the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department discovered Andersen and Burton in Eau Claire, Wis., as the suspects were driving a vehicle owned by one of the three women. After a car chase that reached speeds over 100 mph, Burton and Andersen were arrested and police discovered stereo equipment and jewelry linking them to the Minneapolis burglaries. They have been in custody in Eau Claire since their arrests.
It’s not unusual for suspects to waive their extradition hearing, said James Faber, an assistant Hennepin County attorney. He said eventually they would have been returned to Minnesota even if the suspects had fought the extradition process.
“There are reasons for fighting (extradition) initially, but eventually it becomes ‘pay now or pay later,'” Faber said.
In addition to waiving the extradition hearing, Andersen pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and Burton pleaded guilty to attempting to elude an officer. In exchange for the guilty pleas, both men had all other pending Wisconsin charges against them dropped. Those charges included felony counts of possessing stolen property.
Both were sentenced to time served, meaning no jail time beyond what they have already spent in Eau Claire.
“The charges here (in Wisconsin) were relatively minor,” said Tim Anderson, the attorney assigned to Andersen’s case. “Apparently they just wanted to go back to Minnesota and face those charges head on. There was no point in waiting.”