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Second trial date scheduled for Rochester man charged in March 2019 murder

A mistrial was declared in December 2021 in the trial of Muhidin Abukar after an Olmsted County District Court jury could not reach a unanimous decision. A new trial has been scheduled for May 2022.

Wooden gavel
Wooden gavel

ROCHESTER — A second trial has been scheduled for the Rochester man charged in connection to the March 2019 murder of a 28-year-old man.

A mistrial was declared in December 2021 in the trial of Muhidin Abukar after an Olmsted County District Court jury could not reach a unanimous decision after approximately 18 hours of deliberation.

A new trial for Abukar is scheduled to being with jury selection on May 16, 2022.

Abukar, 33, is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the March 5, 2019, murder of 28-year-old Garad Hassan Roble.

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Roble's body was found by a passing motorist in the pre-dawn hours on 45th Street Southeast, between St. Bridget Road Southeast (County Road 20) and Simpson Road (County Road 1). Roble died as the result of multiple gunshot wounds, including at least one head wound and another in the abdomen, according to court documents.

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A second man, Ayub Abucar Hagi Iman, is scheduled to go to trial in February for his alleged involvement. Iman is charged with second-degree murder.

Throughout Abukar's trial, jurors heard from more than 30 witnesses, including forensic scientists and special agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a special agent with the FBI and members of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. Abukar did not testify.

Prosecutors presented a large amount of cellphone data as evidence, tracking the movement of Abukar, Roble and Iman, on the late night hours of March 4 and early morning hours of March 5, 2019.

Abukar's attorneys Paul Applebaum and Kenneth Udoibok argued that prosecutors could not show who actually had the phones that night and therefore, could not prove Abukar was there.

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