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Former Twin Cities TV station worker found not guilty of making threats of violence

The Ramsey County attorney’s office charged Rusty Gene Arntson of Brooklyn Center on Monday, July 2, 2018, with threats of violence. Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office

ST. PAUL — A former KSTP-TV employee was found not guilty Friday of making threats of violence following his workplace termination.

Rusty Gene Arntson, 37, of Brooklyn Center was acquitted of the felony charge following a jury trial in Ramsey County District Court.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rusty Arntson is found not guilty of making threats of violence against his former coworkers at KSTP.
  • Arntson was fired from his job after a confrontation with a female coworker in July 2018.
  • His attorney said charges were unfounded and the jury gave “absolutely the right verdict.”
  • Ramsey County prosecutors disappointed with the verdict but accept jury’s decision.

“It was absolutely the right verdict,” said Arntson’s attorney, John Arechigo. “It was an unfounded charge. There was insufficient evidence to support the charge.”

Arntson had been charged in July after allegedly making threats of violence toward co-workers after being fired from Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns KSTP-TV. The St. Paul-based company previously said it couldn’t comment on the nature of Arntson’s work at the station.

According to the criminal complaint, he had been fired after a confrontation with a female co-worker whom he blamed for causing him to have a previous suspension.

When Arntson called to ask for his job back, he allegedly made reference to a recent shooting in Maryland where five people were killed at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis. The complaint said he told police he made the reference as a warning that he may come back to hurt them.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the verdict,” said Dennis Gerhardstein, spokesman for the Ramsey County attorney’s office. “We respect the work of the jury in this case.”