2 Minneapolis men sentenced in federal armed carjacking and kidnapping case

Two men who pleaded guilty in an armed carjacking and kidnapping case were sentenced to prison Friday.

T’Shawn Teon Palton, 21, was sentenced to nine years in prison followed by three years of probation.

Jamal Timothy Funchess, 18, received just over eight years in prison followed by three years of probation.

The two men each pleaded guilty to a carjacking charge.

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Court documents say that Palton and Funchess, along with a juvenile, posted an ad for an iPhone on Facebook Marketplace in February 2023.

The victim responded to the ad and arrangements were made to purchase the phone.

They arranged a meeting in Columbia Heights, where Palton, along with the juvenile, approached the victim’s car.

The juvenile was armed with a pistol and struck the victim in the face with it, the criminal complaint states. They then forced the victim into the backseat and drove the victim’s car to pick up Funchess.

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Court documents say that all three pointed the gun at the victim at some point while demanding he give them his cellphone, wallet, credit cards and banking information.

They then drove to multiple gas stations around the Twin Cities while attempting to use the victim’s cards to withdraw money.

Prosecutors say three robbers then openly talked about murdering the victim before dumping him on a road in St. Paul and driving away in his car.

The victim was able to use an employee’s cellphone at a nearby gas station to call 911. Police were able to find Palton, Funchess and the juvenile by tracking the victim’s phone.