Minneapolis man pleads guilty to aiding and abetting murder for fatal St. Paul shooting in 2022

A man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aiding and abetting second-degree murder for the shooting death of 26-year-old Casanova Carter in St. Paul last year.

The plea agreement in Ramsey County Court shows Kendall Dvontae Pruitt, 26, made the deal in exchange for an executed prison sentence of 406 months, or just over 33 years.

His sentencing date is currently set for the morning of Nov. 15.

Pruitt was indicted in June 2022 on two counts of a crime committed for the benefit of a gang, one count of aiding and abetting first-degree murder, one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and one count of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.

On Feb. 1, 2022, officers from the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) were called to a residence on the 700 block of Winslow Avenue at 10:17 p.m. on a report of shots fired.

Upon arrival, police found 26-year-old Casanova Carter in the hallway unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a criminal complaint.

23-year-old Montez Dalray Davis and 27-year-old Delaquay Levius Williams were charged in addition to Pruitt in connection with the shooting.

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The complaint states that 18 spent casings were found outside the home from four different guns, with one matching a 9 mm Luger. Officials say that 9 mm Luger was also linked to a shooting shortly before 6:30 p.m. at a corner store on Fourth Street East in St. Paul. When police looked at surveillance videos, they traced the suspects to a Nissan Altima that was registered to Davis’s girlfriend.

Officers also tracked the Nissan to a Holiday gas station earlier in the evening, where two of the men got out of the vehicle and were seen on camera. Police identified those men as Pruitt and Davis, adding that Pruitt was sitting in the seat when a gun fired at the corner market. DNA swabs from the exterior of the house Carter was in were sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a partial major male profile matched Williams.

On Feb. 12, Davis and his sister also got into an argument at a gas station in Minneapolis where Davis allegedly shot at someone at the gas station and appeared to have gotten shot. Police found the same Nissan in the area after it crashed into a fire hydrant. The complaint states Davis was wearing a lion’s head pendant that was seen on the man at the Holiday gas station before Carter was shot.

Investigators say phone records put Davis’ phone number in the area with the Nissan Altima throughout the day on Feb. 1, including at the time of the shooting and the Holiday gas station. In addition, Pruitt’s phone records put him with Davis throughout that same evening starting earlier in the afternoon and moving with the Altima. The complaint goes on to say Pruitt’s phone doesn’t have any activity from 9:20 p.m. until 40 minutes after the homicide and is in the same area as Davis’ and Williams’ phones.

The complaint adds that the phones for the three men show they moved together for the rest of Feb. 1 and also moved together to a Minneapolis location, where Pruitt stays. The two others traveled to St. Cloud that morning and returned in the early afternoon.

Pruitt was previously convicted for conspiracy to commit a felony in possession of a firearm in April 2017, as well as for a crime for the benefit of a gang in September 2015, court records show.