Saint Paul, MN — On May 31, Ramsey County District Judge Leonardo Castro sentenced Brian Kjellberg to just 365 days in jail for the December 2, 2021 killing of Arnell ‘AJ’ Stewart. Now, after serving six months of his sentence, Kjellberg is asking for release pending his appeal. A court hearing is set for November 29 at 11:00 a.m. in the Ramsey County Courthouse. [UPDATE: Kjellberg’s appeal was denied.]
While AJ Stewart was attempting to retrieve his vehicle from a parking space in St. Paul, he was fatally stabbed by Brian Kjellberg. Stewart unknowingly parked in a “private” space outside of Kjellberg’s residence, and Kjellberg confronted him, stabbing him in the heart with a sharpened tire tool.
Despite pleas from Stewart’s family and the community to charge Kjellberg with first degree murder and a hate crime, he was charged with second degree murder. Called a “white vigilante” by St. Paul residents and Stewart’s family, Kjellberg claimed self-defense and was represented by notorious killer-cop defense attorney Earl Gray who had previously defended high-profile cases of killer cops such as Jeronimo Yanez, Thomas Lane, and Kim Potter.
After a three-day trial in March 2023, Kjellberg was found guilty by a jury that deliberated for less than 90 minutes. Gray immediately filed motions for acquittal and for a new trial based on what he called a “racist” jury foreman. Both of his motions were denied during a Schwartz hearing by Judge Castro.
Prosecutors sought at least 10 years in prison at Kjellberg’s sentencing. However, Judge Castro gave Kjellberg a downward disposition sentence and ordered him to serve 365 days in jail with 150 months stayed, meaning that if he gets in legal trouble, he could potentially serve 12.5 years. Kjellberg was sent to the Ramsey County Workhouse on May 31, 2023 and has been incarcerated since.
Stewart’s mother Tabatha has expressed her grief and struggles since losing her eldest son. She told Unicorn Riot that she’s “never seen a murderer get treated like this.”
“I never seen a murderer get treated like this, something is really wrong with Ramsey County system.”Tabatha Lewis, mother of Arnell ‘AJ’ Stewart
Read Kjellberg’s Motion for Release Pending Appeal below. Stay tuned for a full in-depth report and video.MCRO_62-CR-21-6868_Notice-of-Motion-and-Motion_2023-10-16_20231122202420