Benton Beyer convicted of racist attack on Cold Spring family

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COLD SPRING, Minn. – Conviction brings comfort to a Minnesota family after racism drove hatred right into their home.

This week, a jury found a man guilty of tormenting a family in Cold Spring because of the color of his skin.

A little over a year later the Robinson family’s doorbell caught a truck crashing into their homea jury validated what the family knew: they were racially targeted.

“It’s incredibly hard to accept, we are a multiracial family who anyone would want to hurt, my husband, my children or me just because we are married to a black man, that this level of hatred exists”, said Andrea Robinson.

A jury found Benton Beyer guilty of stealing the truck, putting granite on the throttle and letting it go, with a teddy bear hanging from a noose inside. It was the culmination of more than 80 days of stalking and harassment. Andrea had a restraining order against him.

“The experience has not only changed my life and that of my husband, but it has also had a significant impact on the lives of my children,” Andrea said.

A year ago, WCCO spoke with her husband, Phillipe Robinson.

“How am I supposed to feel safe? I mean, my wife, my kids don’t want to stay here, and I get it,” Phillipe said.

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Benton Beyer

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But they stayed, and Andrea says that while they live with the trauma of what happened, there is relief now too.

“A year ago we didn’t know we were supported and safe, but now we have, you know, a whole neighborhood and a community that’s really supported us,” Andrea said.

She says her family wants to move on, while Beyer faces his punishment.

“I hope that whatever Mr. Beyer’s underlying issues are, he will be able to resolve them, and I hope that the sentence will give him plenty of time to reflect on what he has done,” she said.

Beyer will remain in custody at Stearns County Jail until he is sentenced in mid-November.

Robinson said she found her voice during this time and wanted to help others. She is running for service in the Minnesota House.

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