Sentencing delayed for man convicted of Loesch murder

Sentencing of Jamaal Freeman, convicted in May of second-degree murder for the September 2007 beating death of Kingfield resident Mark Loesch, has been delayed at least a month.

Freeman was supposed to be sentenced June 22, but the date was moved after defense attorneys requested a new trial, arguing that police and prosecutors did not fully document their investigation of the murder and possible suspects were overlooked. Hennepin County District Court Judge Mark Wernick will decide July 29 whether to grant the trial.

He will also rule on the defense’s request for acquittal and downward departure, a legal term for a lighter sentence than the norm. Depending on how he rules on the defense’s requests, Wernick might sentence Freeman July 29, said the judge’s judicial law clerk, Jessica Vosejpka.

In addition to second-degree murder, Freeman was found guilty in May of first-degree aggravated robbery and attempted first-degree aggravated robbery.  

Loesch, a husband and father of four, was found beaten to death with a baseball bat on the 3700 block of Elliot Avenue early Sept. 13, the day after leaving for a late-night bicycle ride. He was apparently in the area looking to buy crack, a drug he went trough rehabilitation for several years ago.

Defense attorneys argued that Donald Jackson, who pleaded guilty a year earlier to aggravated robbery for his role in the crime, was the sole killer.

No forensic evidence or physical clues were ever found, so attorneys relied solely on witness testimony, word against word.