Two Minneapolis men plead guilty to February armed carjacking
Two Minneapolis men have pleaded guilty to carjacking, kidnapping, and holding a victim at gunpoint, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
T’Shawn Teon Palton, 21, and Jamal Timothy Funchess, 18, pleaded guilty to one count each of carjacking, prosecutors announced in a news release Tuesday.
According to court documents, on February 14, Palton, Funchess, and a juvenile posted an ad on Facebook Marketplace to sell an iPhone. The victim responded to the ad and agreed to meet in Columbia Heights.
When the victim arrived in their car, Palton and the juvenile, who had a gun, approached the vehicle. The juvenile hit the victim in the face with the gun and told him to get in the backseat.
According to court records, Palton and the juvenile then got into the car and drove a few blocks to pick up Funchess.
The group of three drove around the Twin Cities for several hours, each pointing the gun at the victim at some point, prosecutors noted. They also demanded that the victim give up his cell phone, wallet, credit cards, and bank information.
Palton, Funchess, and the juvenile drove to multiple gas stations to try and use the victim’s cards to withdraw money.
Court documents state that the group talked about what to do with the victim and openly talked about killing him. They eventually dropped the victim off on a road in St. Paul and drove away in the car.
The victim then ran to a nearby gas station and used an employee’s phone to call 911.
Police officers used the location of the victim’s stolen phone to find Palton, Funchess, and the juvenile, along with the victim’s car and possessions.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bloomington Police Department.
Sentencing for both defendants will be scheduled at a later date.