Minnesota Police Association calls for state intervention in McKeever murder case involving teen suspects

The Minnesota Police Association is calling for state intervention in the prosecution of the two minors who shot and killed Zaria McKeever last November.

McKeever, 23, was shot by 15 and 17-year-old brothers who were allegedly provided the guns by McKeever’s ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Erick Dewaun Haynes, who told the juveniles to kill McKeever’s boyfriend, according to court records. The boyfriend was able to call 911 after jumping out of a bedroom window during the home invasion.

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty, who ran her campaign on juvenile justice, recently decided to prosecute the two brothers as minors as a part of a plea deal.

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Mike Freeman, the previous Hennepin County Attorney, was reportedly in the process of certifying the brothers as adults and charging them with homicide before he retired. Last Friday, McKeever’s family announced they had been notified by Moriarty that the brothers may no longer be prosecuted as adults.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Associations General Counsel and former county prosecutor Imran Ali said the following in a written statement:

“Giving juveniles a soft slap on the wrist for murder, the purposeful taking of another’s life, is an appalling decision by the Hennepin County Attorney. Rather than seeking justice for victims of crime, her decisions re-victimize and make the community less safe. The consequences of improper charging decisions and weak sentences will embolden crime by violent juveniles and adults who prey on them — knowing that in Hennepin County, juveniles will be treated fondly under the new policy. The family of Ms. McKeever is in our thoughts and prayers.”

On March 24, two more adults were charged in relation to McKeever’s murder. In total, five people aged 16-24 have now been charged.

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If convicted as minors, the juveniles face one to two years at a juvenile facility and probation.