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Suspect released in slaying of Minnesota officer

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm •  Published: December 4, 2012
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Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said she could not comment on whether Larson was still a suspect, citing the active investigation.

Kendall explained that the legal standard to charge someone with a crime is higher than the standard to make an arrest. She said charges won't be filed unless she believes a case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and there just isn't enough evidence at this point.

When asked if the missing murder weapon was a factor, Kendall said: "It's part of it, but it's not the only factor."

Kendall wanted to assure the public that authorities were doing everything they could, but stressed that many details couldn't be released because it's an active investigation.

Under state law, authorities have 36 hours once a suspect is in custody to file criminal charges. An extension can be granted if there is good cause — and in this case, prosecutors were granted an extension until noon Tuesday.

Decker, a father of four, had been with the Cold Spring Police Department for six years. He grew up on a farm just south of Cold Spring, a city of roughly 4,000 residents about 75 miles northwest of Minneapolis. After graduating from college, he worked at several small Minnesota police departments before coming home for what he called his dream job on a force with only eight full-time officers.

Cold Spring Police Chief Phil Jones said last week that Decker had received repeated letters of commendation and appreciation.

A visitation for Decker was held Tuesday evening, and officials estimated that as many as 2,000 officers from around the country could attend his funeral Wednesday in nearby Collegeville.

A citizen-organized candlelight vigil attracted about 300 people Monday night, including several officers.

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