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"Thank God they are hearing me out": Woodbury man gets downward departure for mental health crisis

WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Sept. 26, 2023
WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Sept. 26, 2023 01:12

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Cartier Alexander received a downward departure for two counts of aggravated robbery after the court found he was having a mental health crisis at the time of the incident.

On Aug. 29, Alexander was arrested for walking through the Mall of America with an "AR-15-style" rifle and robbing two stores. 

According to a criminal complaint, Alexander first swiped a mechanical toy from a kiosk, then later robbed a Lids store. Eventually, mall security tackled Alexander. At the time, the mall was put on lockdown but no one was hurt during the incident. 

Authorities said that Alexander was licensed to carry and had only one prior offense for lighting off fireworks illegally in 2019. 

A motion for downward departure released on Monday revealed that the court has found that at the time of the robberies, Alexander was experiencing extreme emotional and mental duress. 

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According to the motion, Alexander had been extremely paranoid in the weeks leading up to the incident. He had begun thinking the FBI was following him. He took a flight to California but didn't like the way the pilot was looking at him, so he rented a car upon landing and drove straight back to Minnesota without stopping, said the motion. 

Hennepin County

The motion went on to state that Alexander had also left the residence he had been occupying for the last three years, and suddenly moved back in to his childhood home with his parents. 

When asked why he did this, Alexander claimed that "Chris" told him his apartment wasn't his own, and that people were following him and had stolen his identity, said the departure motion. 

People around Alexander claimed that "these behaviors were alarming and unlike the man Mr. Alexander had been his whole life."

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Alexander admitted to carrying the rifle and taking the items without paying for them but also said that "the whole thing is a all a blue for me, I wake up and I'm in jail," said the departure motion. According to Alexander, he thought he was okay leading up to the incident though he was experiencing headaches at the time. 

Following his arrest, Alexander posted bond on Aug. 30. The departure motion claims that Alexander's mental health continued to deteriorate following his arrest. On Sept. 14, Alexander's father took him to Regions Hospital where he was committed for a mental health evaluation. 

Alexander was discharged from Regions and diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. According to the departure motion, Alexander has continued to be compliant in seeking care for his mental health.

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On Monday, the Honorable Judge John Lucas declared that after reviewing circumstances around Alexander's offenses that he would receive a downward departure. 

Alexander is currently sentenced to nearly 5-years in prison, with three years of supervised probation. 

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