Kassius O. Benson - Chief Public Defender

The Hennepin County Public Defender's Office provides the highest quality of indigent criminal defense by  vigorously advocating for the rights of individuals facing criminal charges in our adult division and our juvenile division. We have successfully accomplished this through the dedication and hard work of our staff.

Our office staff consists of over 120 attorneys who are some of the best educated, best trained, and most experienced criminal defense attorneys in the country. Our legal team also consists of over 70 support staff including investigators, dispositional advisors, paralegals, IT personnel, legal office assistants and law clerks devoted to serving our clients. We believe that training, educational opportunities, and professional development are critical to maintaining the skill set necessary for our staff to provide the highest quality representation to our clients. We have built an exceptional team of trial attorneys and support staff with the resources to reach successful outcomes our clients’ cases.

Our client-centered representation defends, protects, and fights for those facing a daunting criminal justice system. We ensure that no adult or child represented by our office faces the government alone. We ensure that high quality representation is not compromised by the economic status of the accused. By protecting and fighting for those who cannot afford to fight for themselves, we protect our clients’ constitutional rights as well as the rights of everyone in our community.

As Chief Public Defender, I am proud of our Office’s commitment to our clients, commitment to excellence in the important work we do on behalf of our clients, and commitment to advancing the practice of the criminal defense. I am truly honored to be the Chief Public Defender of one of the finest providers of indigent defense in Minnesota and the nation.


Kassius O. Benson

Kassius O. Benson
Chief Public Defender

Help for clients and community

Being treated fairly by the criminal justice system should not be a privilege of the rich. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainright recognized that the fundamental right to a fair trial requires an indigent person accused of a crime to have the assistance of Counsel.

The judge will appoint a Public Defender only if:

- you are an adult and the judge decides that you cannot afford to hire a private attorney; or

- you are under age 18.

You have rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  Read more for best practices for exercising your rights safely, tips to reduce exposure to suspicion (not legal advice).

Learn about your rights

What to do within the first 24 hours

Unsure what to do for a loved one that has been arrested? Use this link to find important information that you can use within the first 24 hours after an arrest. Is your loved one in jail? How much is bail? When is the first court appearance? Who do you call if you have concerns about your loved one’s health? Get this information and more by following this link. There are actions you can take before your loved one meets his or her public defender.

Learn what you can do

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


hands on fence

After Daunte Wright's killing, criticism of 'pretextual' traffic stops grows

Read the article

Hennepin County launches initiative to eliminate disparities in juvenile system

Read the article

Job opportunities

Hennepin County Public Defender's Office job openings   

State of Minnesota Public Defender's Office job openings

View all job openings for the State of Minnesota Public Defender's Office

2022 Summer Law Clerk Program


If you're in the criminal justice system and can't afford an attorney, the Public Defender's office can represent you. We help adults and juveniles accused of criminal offenses, and parents and children involved in child protection cases.

How do I apply for a Public Defender?

You will complete an application for a Public Defender at your first appearance in court. If you meet the income guidelines, the judge will appoint a public defender to represent you.

Who is my Public Defender?

The Office of the Public Defender assigns lawyers to every first appearance courtroom. Once the court has found you eligible, your public defender will meet with you to discuss your case.

How do I get to the Public Defender's Office?

If you are meeting with your lawyer for an adult criminal case (felony or Minneapolis misdemeanor) please go to our 14th floor reception area at 701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 1400, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Our phone number is 612-348-7530.

If you are meeting with your lawyer for a juvenile delinquency or child protection please go to our 10th floor reception area at 701 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Our phone number is 612-348-7530.

How do I get to Adult Court?

For adult criminal cases, including suburban misdemeanor charges, all court locations and instructions on how to find a courtroom are available on line. Our suburban public defenders have offices located in the suburban courthouses. If you have questions about where to go, please call the Public Defender’s Office 612-348-7530

How do I get to Juvenile Court?

For juvenile court all court locations and instructions on how to find a courtroom are available on line. If you are unsure or have questions about your case please call the Public Defender’s Office 612-348-7530.

When is my next court date?

Minnesota State Court provides on line access Court calendars. You may search by your name or case number. If you are unsure or have questions about your case please call the Public Defender’s Office 612-348-7530.



Staff Member Phone Email Job Duties
Adams, Brooke 612-348-9021 Attorney
Anderson, Andrea 612-348-4104 Legal Assistant
Anderson, Brittany 612-348-2001 Investigator
 Austin, Pamela 612-348-5389 Legal Assistant
Bailey, Angela 612-348-8059 Attorney
Baldwin, Laura 612-348-2186 Attorney
Barbour, Sean 612-348-6613 Information Technology
Barna, Allison 612-348-9099 Disposition Advisor
Barreto, Jill 612-596-1807 Attorney
Batres, Johana 612-543-2411 Legal Assistant
Beasley, Jarita 612-348-6985 Legal Assistant
Benson, Jeff 612-348-0032 Attorney
Benson, Kassius 612-348-5660 Chief Public Defender
Bergeson, Steve 612-596-1802 Attorney-Trial Team
Bishop, Tanya 612-348-8229 Attorney
Bozian, Gabriel 612-596-6754 Attorney
Brodhag, Amanda 612-348-6419 Attorney
Brooke, Sallie 612-596-9406 Legal Assistant
Bruce, Christy 612-348-8052 Dispositional Advisor
Brummel, Paula 612-596-7668 Attorney
Bryant, Camille 612-596-9147 Attorney
Buettner, Sarah 612-710-2777 Attorney
Burton, Shira 612-348-0720 Attorney
Byron, Eve 612-348-8594 Attorney
Carey, Erin 612-348-8183 Attorney
Chadwick, Allison 612-348-2984 Attorney
Chambers, Rachel 612-543-9254 Attorney
Champagne, Christopher 612-348-8012 Attorney
Chaska, Krista  612-596-7781 Paralegal
Cima, Kathy 612-596-9346 Attorney
Clemens, Chelsie 612-596-0667 Dispositional Advisor
Clemenson, Rene 612-348-8050 Attorney-Supervisor
Cluck, Deborah 612-596-9279 Legal Assistant
Colbert, Jessica 612-348-8317 Attorney
Colich, Michael 612-333-7007 Attorney
Connor, David 612-596-9145 Attorney
Cousins, Adrienne 612-543-1577 Attorney
Crawford, Latosha 612-348-6816 Attorney
Cruz, Cristina 612-596-6568 Attorney-Contract
Cuellar, Leticia 612-348-8712 Legal Assistant
Dahlquist, Peter 612-677-8357 Attorney
Davies, Susan 612-543-3149 Dispositional Advisor
Davis, Alexander 612-596-6753 Attorney
DesLauriers, Kevin 612-348-4122 Attorney
DeSmidt, David 612-543-0764 Attorney
Devaraj, Mark 612-348-2742 Attorney
Dieperink, Petra 612-596-8725 Attorney
Domin, Isa 612-543-4770 Attorney
Dong, Jesse 612-348-9884 Attorney
Donnelly, Emmett 612-348-6144 Attorney-Supervisor
Dotson, Kellen 612-348-8405 Attorney
El-Ghazzawy, Basil 612-543-0263 Attorney
Elsen, Matt 612-596-8798 Attorney
Felegy, Alexander 612-348-6702 Paralegal
Fischer, Dick 612-348-8872 Investigator
Fitzharris, Ellen 612-348-6123 Dispositional Advisor
Fournier, Michelle 612-596-9428 Attorney
Fox, Alex  612-596-7883 Legal Assistant
Frame, Holly 651-361-9830 Attorney
Fraser, Melissa 612-596-7517 Attorney-Supervisor
Frazher, Vaughn 612-596-9347 Attorney
Fredkove, Donna 612-348-0769 Attorney
Gamble, Maja 612- 348-8045 Investigator
George, Briana  612-596-9336 Dispositional Advisor
Gielcowski, Tammy 612-348-6047 Legal Assistant
Gigley, Randi 612-596-1439 Paralegal
Giudice, Matthew 612-348-6766 Paralegal
Glenn, Claire 612-543-1576 Attorney
Gordon, Robyn 612-348-2433 Attorney
Granse, Alicia 612-596-1981 Attorney
Gray, David 612-866-1313 Attorney
Gray, Kevin 612-596-7969 Attorney
Hansel, Katie 612-596-7711 Attorney
Hanson, Gabriel 612-348-4853 Legal Assistant
Harsha, Zayda 612-596-8269 Dispositional Advisor
Harun, Amiin Attorney
Hayes, Michelle 612-596-7136 Attorney
Herlofsky, Susan 612-348-9881 Attorney
Hicks, Caroline 612-348-8395 Attorney
Hodge, Bernice  612-596-1798 Attorney
Hoffman, Gretchen 612-348-9156 Attorney-Supervisor
Hogan, Dan 612-348-8246 Attorney
Hogan, Elizabeth 612-596-8510 Attorney-Supervisor
Holland, Michael 612-348-9946 Attorney
Hoppe, Mary 612-348-5265 Legal Assistant
Hughes, Hannah 612-348-8255 Attorney
Inz, Julia 612-348-6810 Attorney
Isaacman, Geoffrey 612-348-7891 Attorney-Supervisor
Jaimet, Matthew 612-596-1797 Attorney
James, Beverly 612-348-2337 Admin Asst-Supervisor
Johnson, Kristin 612-596-7518 Investigator
Johnson, Laura 612-348-8555 Attorney
Kamin, James 612-348-9676 Attorney
Karp, Elizabeth 612-543-2925 Attorney
Kennon, Shawn 612-348-8174 Attorney
Khan, Atif 612-348-2854 Attorney
Kieffer, Shauna 612-348-0382 Attorney
King, Camille 612-596-9366 Office Manager
Knutson, Chelsea 612-596-7889 Attorney
Kolstad, Bob 612-543-3475 Attorney
Kowarski, Rachel 612-543-3071 Attorney
Koziol. Sarah  612-596-7887 Attorney
Kraetzner, Krystal 612-596-1447 Paralegal
Kyle, Juanita 612-348-6680 Attorney
Landreau, Stefan 612-348-8393 stefan.landreau@hennepin,us Attorney
Leary, Bryan 612-348-6553 Attorney
Leary, Charlotte 612-348-4960 Legal Assistant
Lucas, John 612-348-8225 Attorney
Lund, Chris 612-543-0264 Attorney
Mahoney, John 612-348-8021 Attorney
Maravigli, Paul 612-348-0186 Attorney
Marks, Krista 612-348-2414 Attorney
Martin, Ben 612-348-6618 Attorney
Martin, Matthew 612-309-1979 Attorney
Martin, Peter 612-348-7113 Attorney
Martinez, Arthur 612-348-5413 Attorney
McGuire, Katherine 612-348-6658 Dispositional Advisor
McInnis, Joey 612-348-9804 Attorney
McNaughton, Lisa 612-348-4375 Attorney-Managing
McPherson, Patrick 612-348-4396 Investigator
Mesa-White, Sebastian 612-596-1228 Attorney
Michael, Brad 612-596-9409 Investigator
Millard, Christopher 612-596-1220 Investigator
Miller, Mark 612-543-3074 Attorney
Miller, Monica 612-348-2056 Attorney
Mills, Victor 612-348-0702 Investigator
Mitchell, LaToya 612-348-8654 Legal Assistant
Mollenkof, Jared 612-348-9198 Attorney
Monroe, William 612-348-4846 Attorney
Morant, Andre 612-348-6756 Attorney-Supervisor
Moriarty, Christina 612-348-5061 Attorney
Morris, Jordan 612-596-9411 Attorney
Muhammad, Kymphus 612-596-8362 Investigator
Myhran, Chase 612-348-5852 Attorney
Myren, Doug 612-348-6373 Attorney
Nolen, Julius 612-348-8560 Attorney
Nolen, Laura 612-543-0262 Attorney
Novak, Anna 612-543-0265 Dispositional Advisor
Nybroten, Heidi 612-348-8264 Legal Assistant
O'Connor, Leslie 612-596-3215 leslie.o' Attorney
Oleisky, Jill 612-332-3100 Attorney-Contract
Olson, Aaron 612-348-6092 Attorney
Otieno, Patricia 612-596-9338 Legal Assistant
Overby, Michelle 612-596-1811 Attorney
Parrott, Anwen  612-348-0384 Attorney
Paule, Robert 612-332-1733 Attorney
Pawlowicz, Jennifer 612-348-7198 Legal Assistant
Perry, Briana 612-596-0790 Attorney
Petersen, Steve 612-596-1803 Investigator
Prahl, Laura 612-543-1633 Attorney-Supervisor
Prentice, Carrie 612-596-7782 Attorney
Probst, Ashley 612-348-7110 Attorney
Quiggle, Brett 612-348-8557 Investigator
Rahmlow, Brenna 612-543-1311 Attorney
Reid, Tracy 612-543-3073 Attorney
Reiland, Andrew 612-348-5838 Attorney-Supervisor
Renden, Greg 612-348-5952 Attorney
Repp, Ashley 612-596-0784 Attorney
Reynolds, Andrea 612-543-3007 Attorney
Ritchie, Samantha 612-596-7391 Attorney
Ryan, John 612-348-8271 Attorney
Salgado Diaz, Eduardo 612-596-6567 Attorney
Sansonetti, Rae  612-348-8556 Attorney
Sargent, Cathy 612-348-8933 Legal Assistant
Sather, Joelle 612-543-0088 Attorney
Scanlan, Greg 612-596-7779 Attorney
Schneck, Paul 612-596-7105 Attorney
Scott, Elizabeth 612-348-4370 Attorney
Selman, Butch 612-348-7856 Attorney
Sherman, Darcy 612-348-2429 Attorney
Siolka, Lindsay 612-348-2181 Attorney-Supervisor
Skrzeczkoski-Bzdusek, Lisa 612-596-1801 Attorney
Small, Andrew 612-875-9919 Attorney
Smart, Jesse 612-348-9551 Information Technology
Spoor, Tiffany 612-348-0253 Attorney
Stoks, Amanda 612-348-8924 Attorney
Swiontek, Matthew 612-348-8053 Attorney
Tierney, Collin 612-348-6343 Attorney
Tillis, Benita 612-348-9887 Legal Assistant
Tonkovitz, Natalie 612-348-4820 Paralegal
Torrence, Michále 612-596-7247 michá Paralegal
Trautman, Sarah 612-543-9849 Attorney
Van Beek, Lindsey 612-348-0378 Attorney
Van Guilder, JoAnne 612-348-0703 Paralegal
Verdoorn, Briana 612-348-2210 Investigator
Vertin, Marecca 612-348-9947 Attorney
Watkins, Nicholl 612-596-9407 Office Manager/HR
Webb, Shawn 612-596-7884 Attorney-Supervisor
Whaley, Jill 612-543-2120 Investigator
Wilkie, Diana 612-348-8292 Disposition Adv-Sup
Wong, Jay 612-596-8316 Attorney

Contact us


701 4th Ave. S.
Suite 1400
Minneapolis, MN 55415