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Clarence Lozoya Jr.

Other Minnesota Exonerations
Clarence Lozoya Jr. was arrested on December 5, 2016 after an incident at his sister’s house in Cloquet, Minnesota. She said Lozoya had come to the house early that morning and gotten in a fight with her friend, Alexander Demers, waving a gun at him, chasing him outside, and then hitting him in the face with the weapon.

The investigating and arresting officer was Cpl. Scott Beckman. According to his report, the 25-year-old Lozoya was taken to the Carlton County Jail and read his Miranda rights. Beckman said that Lozoya gave a statement admitting being at the house but denying any knowledge of a weapon. He was charged with second-degree assault and fifth-degree assault, although the fifth-degree charge was later dismissed.

On January 4, 2017, Lozoya pled guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Two years later, on February 6, 2019, prosecutors notified the area’s chief public defender in nearby Duluth that there had been a Brady violation; the state had failed to tell Lozoya’s trial attorney that Beckman had twice been suspended from the Cloquet Police Department – in 2012 and 2016. Following an internal investigation, Beckman left the force in December 2018. His suspensions could have been potential impeachment evidence if Lozoya's case had gone to trial.

On February 8, 2019, the charges were dismissed in the Sixth District Circuit Court at the request of Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola. Lozoya was released from prison that day.

On April 14, 2021, Lozoya filed a civil-rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against Beckman, the city of Cloquet and Carlton County, seeking damages for his wrongful conviction. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2022.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 3/21/2019
Last Updated: 8/14/2023
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2016
Sentence:4 years
Race/Ethnicity:Native American
Age at the date of reported crime:25
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No