Jury convicts Maple Grove woman who fatally shot boyfriend in 2020

After a little more than four hours of deliberations on Thursday, a Hennepin County jury convicted a 31-year-old Maple Grove woman for the shooting death of her boyfriend early last year.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office says Stephanie Clark has been convicted of intentional second-degree murder. She was charged in March 2020 for the fatal act that happened inside their apartment. The victim is identified as Don’Juan Butler, 30, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Clark will be sentenced on Nov. 18. The state is expected to ask for the maximum sentence, which is 367 months (just over 30 years) in prison. The Minnesota sentencing guidelines range for intentional second-degree murder is between 261 and 367 months, with a presumptive sentence of 306 months.

According to the criminal complaint, on March 5, 2020, just before 6 p.m., officers responded to an apartment located on the 6200 block of Madga Drive in Maple Grove on a report of a shooting. There, officers met with a witness, who informed them that she heard loud bangs from an apartment nearby, and shortly after, heard someone knocking on her door. Clark was outside the witness’s door with her 5-year-old son, and said, "he’s dead," the complaint continues.

When the witness attempted to console Clark, she said, "I shot him because he hit me."

Police then entered Clark’s residence and found Clark’s boyfriend lying on the bedroom floor with a gunshot wound to the head. Officers also found five guns in the apartment. Authorities concluded that the child was present when the shooting happened.

A medical examination determined that Clark’s boyfriend had been shot multiple times; in his back, side and back of his head. Clark stated he had hit her, and police found bruises on her left side and mid-back, the complaint states.

Clark told investigators that she and her boyfriend got into a fight and he punched her in the stomach and back. Clark then left to pick her son up and, when she returned, the argument continued. Clark’s boyfriend walked into a bedroom while she followed him, carrying a 22 double-barrel action revolver. He eventually turned to face her, and that’s when she shot him in the chest. Once that weapon ran out of bullets, Clark picked up another gun — a 380 revolver — and shot him in the head while he was on the ground. She told police she did this so "he would stop talking."