A fundamental tenant of our judicial system is that a person is presumed innocent until the State proves otherwise. For our legal system to remain just and rational, we must adhere to this basic principle no matter how overwhelming we may think the evidence is.
Ty Hoffman has been accused and charged with the murder of Kelly Philips at a Holiday Gas Station in Arden Hills on August 11th. Hoffman and Phillips were co-founders of the Lush Food Bar and the two were in a romantic relationship for some time in the past. Since Phillips’ murder, police have been unable to locate Hoffman which has prompted a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
It’s easy for all of us to get pulled into this “man-hunt” story line so I thought it was prudent that we talk about what is actually known about what happened. The criminal complaint against Hoffman is sealed, meaning the public is not allowed to view it. That means what is known to us and the media amounts to very little.
We have information that indicates that the relationship (both professional and personal) between Hoffman and his former partner, Kelly Phillips, was strained. If we assume that is true, we must ask why Hoffman and Phillips were driving together to a gas station. The answer to that question may indicate we do not know the full story.
Hoffman has now been charged with robbing a bank in Blaine. This theory directly conflicts with expert commentary which says that the only way he could elude police is with preparation and planning. If Ty Hoffman had planned this murder, wouldn’t he have saved sufficient money to escape instead of robbing a bank while all of Minnesota is looking for him? Another question we do not know the answer to.
Furthermore, there is commentary that Ty Hoffman is receiving help to elude police but then there are accounts that he is laying in the weeds and running through the forests to avoid arrest. These two narratives contradict, if he is receiving help then why is he running through forests on foot?
Having said all that, let me be clear, Ty Hoffman should turn himself in and face the charges. However, we as the public must challenge what we hear on television, for every time we rubber stamp what we read, we undermine the quality legal process this country is founded on.