KSTP sued for defamation by Ryan Larson, man wrongly accused of killing Cold Spring cop

Categories: Media
ryan larson.jpeg
Ryan Larson
Ryan Larson, the man who was initially arrested in connection with the November 2012 murder of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker, has sued KSTP for allegedly defaming him during their TV coverage of Decker's shooting.

Larson, you'll recall, was arrested the day after Decker was gunned down and held for five days on suspicion of second-degree murder. But investigators didn't have enough evidence to charge him and he was released from custody.

See also:
Ryan Larson, man falsely accused of Officer Decker murder, accused of stalking ex-GF

About a month later, a man named Eric Thomes hanged himself when police came to question him about his possible role in Decker's death. At his house, police recovered the shotgun that was used to murder Decker as well as the black van with a loud exhaust that a witness reported at the scene of the shooting.

In the lawsuit, Larson's lawyer argues KSTP rushed to judgment during a November 30, 2012 news broadcast by repeatedly saying Larson had been charged with a crime when in fact that wasn't the case.

The suit attributes this quote to 5 Eyewitness News reporter Joe Mazan: "Police surrounded the scene and arrested Larson. He's charged with second-degree murder."

That claim was later echoed by reporter Todd Wilson, who said Larson "is charged with [Decker's] murder," according to the lawsuit.

Larson's lawyer goes on to argue KSTP created a false impression of guilt by showing Larson's mugshot while Wilson interviewed Decker's mother.

"These images and the interview with Mrs. Decker falsely, and by innuendo, inferred plaintiff Larson was her son's killer and are defamatory," the lawsuit says.

Larson is seeking more than $50,000 from KSTP, the Star Tribune reports. That's a little bit less than the more than $75,000 he's seeking from WCCO, who he also sued for similar reasons earlier this month.

Larson's lawyer says more lawsuits may be coming: -- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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David Lloyd
David Lloyd

KSTP. Fox News for old folks without cable.

Jason A Lee
Jason A Lee

the police are abusers of power and law breaker's.

Jason A Lee
Jason A Lee

if the MN media would get off the police's dick, that would be great

Brent Colquhoun
Brent Colquhoun

Good for him...... KSTP is the Worst.... or tied with KARE...... geeesh, !

Jo Opheim
Jo Opheim

It's about time KSTP stops inventing its "news" stories.

Janet Coil
Janet Coil

Wow-if this is true he should sue them. The media sensationalized as usual. A lesson to them to get their facts straight or we (the public) don't want to hear it. They try to make money by sensationalizing -let them loose money by sensationalizing.

digitalprotocol topcommenter

this is interesting. he prob should get some money as everyone thought he was cop killer for weeks

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