Teen charged in North St. Paul man’s murder certified as adult, pleads guilty

A teenager who was charged in the death of a North St. Paul man in June has been certified to stand trial as an adult and pleaded guilty.

Ramsey County Judge JaPaul Harris signed off on the certification Monday afternoon, moving the case against 17-year-old Abo Eshun Essilfie from juvenile court to adult court.

Essilfie is charged with second-degree murder for the killing of 24-year-old Anthony Rojas, who was found dead in an apartment on June 19.

According to court documents, neighbors told police that Rojas seemed to be partying with a group of men and a woman all day, and an argument was heard shortly before a gunshot. Police say they recovered about 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition during the investigation.

Charging documents add that a confidential informant told police that Essilfie and another person were just supposed to rob Rojas of ghost guns but Essilfie shot him instead.

Essilfie is one of six people facing charges in Rojas’s death.

He has prior adjudications for robbery and aggravated robbery, and he was also charged last week in connection to gunshots that were fired at an Edina mall this spring.

After he was certified as an adult Monday, Essilfie pleaded guilty to the murder charge.

His sentencing is now set for Sept. 25.