18-year-old pleads guilty to role in murder of St. Paul father
An 18-year-old pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in the murder of St. Paul father Michael Brasel.
Ta Mla entered a guilty plea for aiding and abetting second-degree murder. He is expected to be sentenced to 15 years, according to the terms of the plea deal.
He was originally charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was amended to two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
As previously reported, around 7:20 a.m. on the morning of May 6, Michael Brasel confronted someone who was trying to break into his wife’s car. Brasel’s son told officers he was inside the home, on the 2300 block of Chilcombe Avenue, when his father yelled outside, “What are you doing?” The boy then heard an estimated six gunshots and then saw a dark-colored vehicle drive off.
Brasel had been shot multiple times in the chest and back and died at the hospital shortly after.
Kle Swee, 17, was charged a week later with Brasel’s murder. He received a sentence of over 25 years.
Swee was seen with Mla shortly after the shooting, court documents state.
Officers also found messages from Mla on Swee’s phone asking if he still needed a gun, to which Swee responded that he would need one the following week.
Mla was arrested during a traffic stop in June. Court documents state that officers found a handgun in the front passenger seat of the car and Mla later admitted that it was the gun Swee used to shoot Brasel.
Mla also told officers that he and Swee were looking for items to steal in cars and he was driving. He said that he heard gunshots after Brasel confronted them and drove off.
Mla has two prior juvenile cases involving gun possession, the court documents note. However, adjudication was withheld on both cases.