MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The trial began Wednesday for Wally “The Beer Man” McNeil and another vendor accused of selling beer to an underage police decoy at Target Field.
McNeil and vendor Ed Stepnick are on trial together.
Right before the jury selection process began, they rejected a last-minute plea deal from the prosecution, deciding to leave their fate to a jury.
McNeil and Stepnick were among eight vendors busted for not checking the ID of the teenage decoy last September at Target Field.
Their attorney, Peter Wold, is accusing the officers of entrapment. Wold told the judge Wednesday that he plans to bring up the fact a police sergeant who supervised the sting at Target Field has since been fired for allegedly lying in another case.
Six jurors will be chosen to decide if the two are guilty of the gross misdemeanor crimes. It was clear from questioning of prospective jurors that a lot of them are Twins fans, who will have to put those feelings aside to decide on the facts of the case.
About half of the prospective jurors said they had heard about McNeil’s case from news reports — but said they could give him a fair trial.
Judge Peter Cahill expects the trial to last until at least Friday and could go into next week.