Minnesota Man Convicted of Murder Walks Out of Courtroom and Is On the Run, Authorities Say

Hennepin County Courthouse
A man convicted of murder walked out of the Hennepin County Courthouse last week and is being sought by authorities.Courthouses.com

Michael Harlan was convicted of murder last week and walked out of a Minnesota courtroom before the verdict was read, according to authorities.

A man convicted of third-degree murder is being sought by authorities after he walked out of Minnesota's Hennepin County Courthouse last week and disappeared.

Michael Harlan, 28, was convicted last Thursday of murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with a drug overdose death in March 2021. 

Harlan was deemed responsible for the death of 29-year-old Cole Linnell after selling him fentanyl pills that were designed to look like Oxycodone, according to court records.

The defendant, who was out on bail, appeared in court on the day of the verdict, but walked out before it was read and didn't come back. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued later that day, authorities said.

"There's not much I can say. Obviously he walked out of court," the defendant's attorney, Craig Cascarano, told Inside Edition Digital Wednesday evening. "I can say he will be turning himself in shortly. I can say he will be turning himself in between now and Monday."

Asked how he knew that, the attorney replied, "I just know." Asked if he had spoken with his client, the lawyer answered, "I can't tell you that. I can't tell you anything that's bound by attorney-client privilege."

Harlan was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in a non-jury trial. The case was heard and decided by District Judge Juan Hoyos, according to court records.

The victim's mother told KMSP-TV that Harlan left the courtroom, "saying he needed to use the bathroom," Jean Thurmer said. "That’s the last we ever saw him."

Thurmer said she attended the hearing so she could witness justice for her son's death.

"He robbed my son of his life," Thurmer said. "I want my day in court when I can see the man in a jumpsuit."

Linnell developed an addiction to painkillers after suffering a sports injury at age 14, his mother said.

Police found him dead at his kitchen table on March 14, 2021, after Thurmer asked for a welfare check. 

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