Ricky Cobb II shooting: Ex-federal prosecutors will handle Ryan Londregan's case

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is using a team of former federal prosecutors to assist in the case against the Minnesota State Trooper charged with murder in the shooting death of Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop in 2023. 

The prosecutors will be deputized special assistant county attorneys in Ryan Londregan's case, according to a press release. Londregan is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and first-degree assault in connection to the July 31, 2023, shooting. These charges came nearly six months after the fatal shooting and followed calls from Cobb’s family for the firing and charging of Londregan.

The team of attorneys from the law firm Steptoe LLP includes Karima Maloney, Michael R. Bromwich, Ryan Poscablo, and Steven Levin. The HCAO added the funds used to hire the prosecutors will be from the existing budget. 

RELATED: Minnesota Trooper Ryan Londregan in court for significant hearing

"Our goal in this case, as in every case, is to achieve a just process and outcome, public transparency, and accountability for the harm that has been caused," Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement. "It is clear this case will be extremely resource intensive and will involve extensive litigation prior to trial. These former federal prosecutors with impeccable credentials will be singularly focused on this case while the rest of our team continues the critical work of prosecuting the high volume of other serious cases that are central to safety in our community."

Londregan's next hearing is scheduled for May 15. 

How much are the new prosecutors charging?

Legal experts say the price tag of hiring outside counsel will get steep quickly.

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger says Moriarty’s choice to hire private attorneys will be costly. He estimates each attorney charges upwards of $500 an hour, plus the cost of travel, since the attorneys are east-coast based.

"She is obviously willing to spend whatever money is required—and it will be a lot—to get a conviction," said Heffelfinger.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said it intends to pay for these resources through the existing budget, without burdening taxpayers with additional expenses. FOX 9 asked a spokesperson what they intend to cut to make room for the new expenditure but did not hear back.

Heffelfinger said by the end of the trial, the bill will easily be seven figures. He says if they were determined to use outside counsel, he questions why they did not go with someone local to cut back on cost.

"There are many former U.S. Attorneys in the state of Minnesota who could have stepped in and done this case and done it very well and probably done it for a lot less money," he said.