Filing: Moriarty’s own force expert called Trooper Londregan’s actions ‘reasonable’

The defense team summarized the situation by saying, "on October 13, 2023, Noble, the HCAO's handpicked expert, told the HCAO that Trooper Londregan committed no crime."

State Trooper Ryan Londregan (MADD Minnesota)

According to attorneys for State Trooper Ryan Londregan, a use-of-force expert selected by Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty told the county attorney and her staff that Trooper Londregan committed no crime when he shot and killed Ricky Cobb.

Londregan, 27, is a Minnesota state trooper who has been charged with three felonies stemming from a July 2023 incident in which he shot and killed Ricky Cobb, a convicted felon who allegedly had ties to a Minneapolis gang. The state trooper shot Cobb to prevent the convicted felon from harming another state trooper who was dragged a short distance by Cobb’s vehicle.

In January, Moriarty announced that her office would file charges against Londregan. Currently, Londregan is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree manslaughter.

Prior to filing charges against Londregan, Moriarty released a statement claiming her office had already selected a use-of-force expert who would weigh in on the case. The September 2023 statement from Moriarty said this expert’s “independent review is a critical part of our process.”

Despite originally calling the input from the use-of-force expert “critical,” Hennepin County Attorney Moriarty appears to have entirely ignored the outside specialist’s expertise when deciding to bring felony charges against Trooper Londregan.

“We were able to determine that charges were appropriate in this charge without the use of an expert,” said Moriarty at a January press conference. When pressed about whether an expert was consulted, the Hennepin County attorney only said subsequent investigation taking place after her September 2023 statement determined that “charges were appropriate without the use of an expert.”

In a new court filing, discovery materials provided to Londregan’s attorneys shed new light on Moriarty’s decision-making process surrounding her use-of-force expert.

According to Londregan’s defense team, discovery materials identified the use-of-force expert initially selected by Moriarty as Jeffrey Noble of California. On Oct. 13, 2023, Noble allegedly told Moriarty and multiple members of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) that “a reasonable officer in Trooper Londregan’s position would have perceived that Trooper [Brett] Seide was in danger of death or great bodily harm, specifically from being dragged by the vehicle as it continued to accelerate.”

Londregan’s attorneys also state that the use-of-force expert “dismantled the HCAO’s other theories of Trooper Londregan’s fault in this case.” The defense team summarized the situation by saying, “on October 13, 2023, Noble, the HCAO’s handpicked expert, told the HCAO that Trooper Londregan committed no crime.”

Christopher Madel, Londregan’s attorney, makes a statement in January after his client was charged. (Madel PA)

The court filing also says, “certain HCAO representatives attempted to persuade Noble to change his opinion to support a decision to prosecute.”

On Jan. 24, Moriarty brought charges despite Noble’s apparent dismantling of the county attorney’s case. Two days after charges were brought against Londregan, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office reportedly told Noble “to stop working.”

Christopher Madel, one of Londregan’s attorneys, told Alpha News, “Our legal brief says it all. We’re really looking forward to court.”

Londregan’s defense team has been particularly critical of Moriarty’s handling of the entire situation. Court documents previously filed by Londregan’s attorneys accuse Moriarty’s office of “attempting to spin the media narrative surrounding” the case.

Brian Peters, the executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, released a statement saying, “The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office hired an expert to educate them, the Court, and the jury. That expert — who was also formerly used to prosecute other Minnesota police officers — found Trooper Ryan acted lawfully to save his partner. Now, Moriarty’s office is disregarding and trying to hide that truth from the public. This is what happens in a political prosecution. Trooper Ryan is a hero who saved his partner’s life. Anyone who cares about the rule of law needs to care about this case — it’s an unjust prosecution. How many more folded flags need to go to families of law enforcement?”

Ricky Cobb shooting

On July 31, 2023, Cobb was pulled over because his taillights were out. After discovering that Cobb was wanted in Ramsey County, the responding state trooper called for backup. As such, Londregan and another trooper arrived on the scene. Cobb proceeded to reject instructions to exit his vehicle. Eventually, a state trooper opened Cobb’s door and attempted to get Cobb out of the vehicle.

However, Cobb put his vehicle in gear and attempted to drive away with the state trooper half-in the vehicle, half-outside the vehicle. Londregan, standing on the passenger side of the car at the time, drew his firearm and shot Cobb to prevent him from harming the other state trooper. Cobb died from the gunshot wound.

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that vehicles can be considered “dangerous weapons” if they are driven recklessly in a manner that is “likely to cause death or great bodily harm.”

The state trooper on the driver’s side was dragged a short distance by Cobb’s vehicle.

Law enforcement officers have been killed from being dragged by a vehicle.

“The law is well-established and clear: law enforcement may use reasonable force if they are confronted with death or great bodily harm,” said Imran Ali, general counsel for the Minnesota Police Officers and Peace Officers Association. “The State Trooper made a critical and necessary decision to use reasonable force during a dangerous and dynamic situation. Law enforcement officers die in similar situations.”

Since charges were filed against Londregan, the state trooper has seen an outpouring of public support. The Minnesota State Troopers Association, the Minnesota Police Officers and Peace Officers Association, and Law Enforcement Labor Services started a fund to support Londregan and his family in the wake of Moriarty’s charges.

Denouncing Moriarty’s charges against Londregan, Peters said, “MPPOA will vigorously defend our trooper who is unjustly charged as a result of acting in accordance with his legal responsibilities.”


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.