News from the County Attorney’s Office


August 27, 2015


Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney 12-2013

Michael O. Freeman
Hennepin County Attorney
300 S. Sixth St.
Minneapolis, MN  55487

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We serve justice and public safety through our commitment to ethical prosecution, crime prevention, and through innovative and reasoned client representation.


Your child’s future starts now: be@school


The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is known for our commitment to public safety and prosecuting criminals who break the law. But our staff also works to keep people out of the criminal justice system. We connect with community members through events like National Night Out (see the story below). We also provide guidance and support to school-age youth and their families to increase attendance through the be@schoolprogram.

As parents know, education builds the foundation for lifelong success and opportunity. Unexcused absences from school are a risk factor for substance abuse, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior, and chronic unemployment later in life.

That’s why we established the be at school program. This innovative initiative educates parents and children about the importance of students attending school every day, on time, unless they have a lawful excuse for being absent — such as an illness, a religious holiday, a family emergency or funeral.

In collaboration with Hennepin County schools and social service agencies, our staff works to remove barriers that may keep a student from being at school, which might include adequate clothing or transportation. We intervene and get involved early because we know that a child’s future starts today.

We ♥ National Night Out

nno video pic

More than 200 staff members from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office visited 140 block parties and 25 community events on National Night Out, Tuesday, August 4. We all had a great time –check out the video.

National Night Out is a great way to get to know your neighbors as a means to encourage crime prevention. You can also make your community safer by taking action:

  • If you encounter a nuisance property in your neighborhood, report it. In Minneapolis, call 311. For other communities, contact Citizen Information: 612-348-2146
  • Call 911 if you see suspicious activities, which include drug dealing, prostitution, weapons violations and unlawful alcohol sales.
  • If you have been affected by a crime committed in your neighborhood, you can have a voice in court proceedings by submitting an impact statement to the judge before the perpetrator is sentenced. For more information,

Pierre Collins pleads guilty to murdering his son

Pierre Barlee Collins pleaded guilty on August 3 to second-degree murder in the death of his 10-year-old son Barway who had disappeared in March.

Pierre Collins was immediately sentenced to 40 years and will spend at least 27 years in prison before he is eligible to spend the remaining years on supervised release.

“I’ve carried several titles in my life,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a news conference after the guilty plea. “But the one I’m proudest of is dad. I’m proud of my five kids. The last thing we know that Barway Collins said is, ‘There’s my dad.’ And he said it in a voice of being excited to see the person he loved. He’s gone. None of us can explain or comprehend how a father could kill his son. We don’t know exactly what happened … [but] there’s some justice for Barway’s family and for little Barway, as well.”

Pierre Collins has been in jail since his arrest in April, shortly after Barway Collins’ body was discovered in the Mississippi River with his feet bound by duct tape and more duct tape was around his torso.

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