Minneapolis man sentenced for killing his child’s mother on Thanksgiving

A Minneapolis man has been sentenced for fatally shooting the mother of his child last Thanksgiving.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, 41-year-old Randall Watkins was sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing Raven Gant. On Oct. 23, a Hennepin County jury convicted him on counts of intentional second-degree murder, unintentional second-degree murder and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. His 40-year sentence was the maximum he could receive.

The criminal complaint states police officers responded to a domestic dispute last Thanksgiving, which turned into a shooting. Watkins was arrested by officers, who found Gant lying on her back in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. She died at a hospital shortly before 11 p.m.

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Officers found a 2-year-old girl in the dining room of the home and asked her where her mother was. The girl responded that her mother was on the floor. Watkins also said the child was his.

Gant’s father arrived at the home and told police his daughter had called him at 10:08 p.m. saying Watkins wouldn’t let her out of the home. He and other witnesses reportedly told police that Gant had been trying to get away from Watkins for a while and he’d previously beaten her.

The complaint states Gant’s father said he tried to confront Watkins about Gant’s injuries when they occurred but Watkins had a gun and shot at him as he was about to drive away. Watkins also took all of Gant’s and her daughter’s clothes and wouldn’t return them.

However, earlier that day, Watkins called Gant and told her she could meet him at the home at 9:30 p.m. and he’d return all of her stuff, the complaint states.

An autopsy determined Gant was shot once in the back.

The attorney’s office said Watkins also has a prior murder conviction from 1995 in Illinois, when he shot a friend over a small sum of money.