A Ramsey County judge has denied a request from former St. Paul impound lot worker Aaron Foster to expunge a murder charge from his record.
The charge stems from the 1981 death of Barbara Winn, which was shot during a struggle with Foster. Charges in the death were not filed until 2007 after the case was reopened
In 2009, Foster was found not guilty on murder charges after he testified that the gun went off by accident. Winn’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Foster after the shooting.
Foster is also trying to get his job with the St. Paul Police Department back in a civilian capacity, and an expunged murder charge would have been a step in that direction. He said he has had trouble getting work when potential employers find a third-degree murder charge on his record. The St. Paul Police Department put him on unpaid leave when he was charged.
In the ruling, the court found the benefit Foster may gain by clearing up his record is outweighed by the disadvantage to the public. Even if the charged were expunged, the court says “a simple Google search reveals most of the information he seeks to have sealed,” including many news article and a Dateline NBC special.