Cottage Grove man enters guilty plea to amended charge for fatal 2021 shooting

A Cottage Grove man entered a guilty plea on Tuesday in connection with a 2021 shooting that killed 20-year-old Jayvon Andrew Malone.

Brenden Jamel Reynolds, 25, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of first-degree manslaughter in exchange for up to 15 years in prison, according to court records.

Court records show the prosecution intends to file a Blakely motion, which indicates intent to pursue a sentence longer than what the law suggests. The state is seeking an aggravated sentence due to the fact that children were present at the time of the crime and because it happened in a public place.

RELATED: Suspect in 2021 West St. Paul shooting arrested at airport, charged with murder

A criminal complaint states that on June 9, 2021, West St. Paul police were called to Thompson County Park around 9 p.m. on a report of a shooting. There, officers found Malone lying in the grass and suffering from two apparent gunshot wounds. Two people were putting pressure on his wounds and Malone told officers he was going to die, court documents state.

Officers asked Malone who shot him but he never responded. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to charging documents, surveillance video from the park showed a confrontation underneath the pavilion at the park. A witness told police there had been a party for a cousin’s graduation there earlier that day but later said the party was actually for a person incarcerated at a county jail, with the goal of the party being to raise money to pay for his legal fees.

Another witness told police there wasn’t any tension at the party until Reynolds arrived.

Video shows Reynolds pull up on a motorcycle, then walk over to Malone and tell him, “You got my brother killed,” a criminal complaint states. He then allegedly punched Malone in the face, sending him to the ground and gunshots were then fired.

As Malone ran toward a car, he fell to the ground and appeared to fire gunshots back at Reynolds.

Court documents state that Malone was involved in a crime with others back in September of 2018 and someone known as “G-Will” died. Malone went to prison for the offense, which isn’t specified in the document. However, investigators noted that G-Will’s family apparently blamed Malone for his death, and that seemed to be what Reynolds was referring to in his comment to Malone before the shooting.

Two people were arrested in the days after the shooting but have not been charged.

Reynolds was arrested in March of 2023 in a vehicle at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He was initially charged with second-degree murder, which was amended, according to court records.