MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — James Wren was convicted Tuesday in the 2019 downtown Minneapolis double shooting that killed one man and paralyzed another.
Investigators say Wren, 36, got into an argument outside of Augie’s nightclub on Hennepin Avenue in the early morning hours of June 10, 2019. Officers were called about the disturbance, and arrived soon after to hear gunshots.
A tow truck driver witnessed Wren fire several rounds at Michael Clark, 40, and a second man. Clark died from his injuries, while the other victim suffered permanent paralysis.
Witness accounts and surveillance camera footage led investigators to determine Wren initially got into an argument with the men, left briefly, then returned with a firearm.
The jury took three hours to convict him of unintentional second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He was acquitted of first-degree murder and second-degree intentional murder. He will be sentenced on July 30, when he is expected to receive more than 27 years in prison.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s office says Wren’s trial was the first murder trial to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic. It lasted 15 days, and was held in a modified courtroom that allowed for social distancing.