Updated: 07/22/2014 6:12 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 5:22 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart
A 43-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the shooting death of an innocent bystander in Champions Bar in Minneapolis last August.
According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Ron Powell, 43, immediately was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with credit for 285 days already served in jail while he awaited trial, which was to begin Monday.
In exchange for the guilty plea, on the most serious charge, two others were dropped: second-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm, according to Freeman.
According to the criminal complaint, Anthony Collins was celebrating his birthday at Champions Bar on Aug. 8, 2013, when he saw Powell, with whom he had previous altercations.
Prosecutors say Collins walked up to Powell and began punching him. That's when, according to the complaint, Powell fell to the floor, pulled out a gun and fired three shots. One of them hit a bystander, 51-year-old Mark Stephenson. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he later died.
Police say Stephenson had no connection to Collins or Powell. Collins suffered non-life threatening wounds.
Powell was arrested in Fargo in mid-October.
Stephenson’s mother, wife, brother and sister-in-law all gave emotional victim impact statements in court saying Stephenson was a good man and a good husband, father and grandfather.