Minneapolis men indicted on carjacking, kidnapping charges

Federal authorities say two Minneapolis men have been indicted for their roles in an armed carjacking and kidnapping earlier this year.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 18-year-old Jamal Timothy Funchess and 21-year-old T’Shawn Teon Palton are federally charged with kidnapping, carjacking and two counts of brandishing a gun during a violent crime.

Court documents allege that on Feb. 14, Palton and a juvenile approached a man who’d made arrangements to buy a cellphone over Facebook Marketplace when he went to the meet-up spot in Columbia Heights, ordered him into the back seat of his vehicle, then held him at gunpoint for hours.

The documents say that they then picked up Funchess, and the three of them then took turns holding the victim at gunpoint, demanding he give them his cellphone, wallet, credit cards and banking information, then driving around the Twin Cities to withdraw money using the victim’s cards.

Prosecutors say the men then openly talked about murdering the victim before dumping him on a road in St. Paul and driving away in his car.

The victim was able to use an employee’s cellphone at a nearby gas station to call 911, and police then tracked down Palton, Funchess and the juvenile by tracking the victim’s phone.

Funchess and Palton are both in federal custody.