DES MOINES, Iowa (FOX 9) - On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Amy Klobuchar faced renewed scrutiny over a 2003 murder case she prosecuted in Minneapolis.
During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," anchor Chris Wallace grilled Klobuchar about her prosecution of Myon Burrell, a then-teenager who was convicted of killing 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards. An Associated Press investigation this week found holes in the case, including a lack of hard evidence or witnesses. The AP also interviewed a co-defendant who says he, not Burrell, was the shooter.
Klobuchar has struggled to gain support from black voters in the 2020 presidential race, and her standing took a hit when Minneapolis activists called on her this week to quit the race amid the controversy. She did not directly answer Wallace's repeated questions about whether she knew there was questionable evidence in 2003.
"No, I didn’t know about this new evidence until I saw this (AP) report," Klobuchar responded. "I couldn’t have. I haven’t been in the office for 12 years."
The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned Burrell's 2003 conviction. But in 2008, when Klobuchar was no longer the prosecutor, he was convicted a second time.
Burrell, who is detained in the state prison at Stillwater, declined an interview request from FOX 9 this week. His father, Michael Toussaint, told reporters that his son is innocent and blamed Klobuchar for prosecuting him.
During Sunday's TV appearance, Wallace asked Klobuchar about her lack of support among black voters.
"When people get to know me, I do well. It’s on me and I have to go out there and get to know people," Klobuchar said. "In my case, let’s look at Iowa. Two prominent African-American legislators have endorsed me, are out campaigning for me right this weekend."
The Iowa caucuses are Monday night. Klobuchar has never led a poll in the Hawkeye State, but has been trending upward.
Klobuchar said Sunday that she would continue on to New Hampshire even if she didn't finish in the top three in Iowa.
"I think we have to do well here (in Iowa)," she said on Fox News. "I'm going to New Hampshire no matter what."