Man sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for attempted murder

An Eden Prairie man will be spending time in prison after being convicted of attempted second-degree murder.

According to court documents, 34-year-old Xavier Cordarius Willis was sentenced Friday morning to 203 months (16.9 years) at the St. Cloud prison, with credit for 313 days already served.

As part of a plea agreement made last month, Willis had one count of first-degree assault dismissed, as well as two other cases, which involved charges of illegal firearm possession, fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Willis was charged after prosecutors said he tried to kill a man in Minneapolis after the two had an argument, which was followed by a shooting just hours later on Jan. 13, 2023, along the 2000 block of 21st Avenue South.

According to a criminal complaint, police had talked to the victim that morning after he filed a police report regarding a verbal dispute with Willis where Willis allegedly pulled out a gun. However, the two went their separate ways after the argument.

It wasn’t until later that day — when the victim was parked outside the apartment, talking to his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child — that Willis allegedly walked in front of the victim’s vehicle and fired a shot through the windshield, hitting the victim in the chest.

The complaint notes that the entire incident was caught by the apartment’s surveillance cameras, and other footage showed Willis parking his vehicle and walking through an alley to get to the victim, then running away after the shooting.

It also states that the victim walked upstairs after the shooting to “say goodbye to his child” before trying to drive himself to the hospital and ultimately crashing outside a fire station, where he was given aid.