Man who ‘just snapped’ gets prison sentence for fatally shooting roommate last year

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter was sentenced Tuesday to nearly a decade in prison after he admitted to shooting his roommate in Minneapolis.

Charles Raymond Thomas, 72, was sentenced to 99 months (just over eight years) in prison on Tuesday afternoon for the shooting death of 57-year-old Willie Jacob Hobbs. Thomas will get credit for the 289 days he has already served.

In addition to serving time in prison, he must also pay a $128 fine.

Court documents say officers responded to the 3100 block of Dupont Avenue in Minneapolis in Dec. 2022 after a 911 caller said Thomas told relatives he had shot his roommate.

Several family members were outside the home when officers arrived. Thomas’ son spoke to police and told them his father said “Son, I made a mistake. Hurry up now, hurry up now.” When his son arrived, he reportedly said “Son, I don’t know what happened. I just snapped.”

The complaint states police found Hobbs’ body with multiple gunshot wounds.

Investigators also found several 9mm shell casings near Hobbs’ body and a gun matching that caliber in the upstairs part of the home.

A witness told police she’d come home earlier that night when she heard Thomas and Hobbs arguing. However, she said they went their separate ways so she left. After Thomas called her later saying he needed her help, she went back to the home and heard the shooting — three quick shots followed by a pause and a fourth shot, court documents state.

Thomas later claimed that Hobbs was harassing and bullying him and he “snapped,” adding, “Nobody feel worse than I do about this. I didn’t plan this.”

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