Families of murder victims critical of Hennepin County attorney

Families of murder victims critical of Hennepin County attorney

Families of murder victims critical of Hennepin County attorney

Families of murder victims rallied outside the office of Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty Wednesday and voiced their opinions of two recent plea bargains with men who admitted they were guilty.

Antonio Moore was stabbed to death five months ago in Brooklyn Center and Demetrius Harris was initially charged with second-degree murder in Moore’s death.  Harris recently accepted a plea deal from Moriarty’s office pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter which would likely carry a sentence of four years in prison.

Moore’s cousin, Pearll Warren, said the family did not agree with the County Attorney’s plea offer to Harris.

“We’re not asking for justice. We’re asking for results,” said Warren.  “We don’t want any blind adjudicated decisions being made on our behalf. We want you to be able to see the wrong that is happening out here and do not loose these individuals back on the streets. It’s a public safety issue.”

In 2019, 39-year-old Steven Markey was shot and killed in his car in Minneapolis and Jered Ohsman, who was charged with fatally shooting Markey, pleaded guilty and received a 21-year prison sentence.

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Husayn Braveheart, who was 15 years old at the time, was charged with aiding and abetting in Markey’s death.  Recently, Moriarty’s office offered Braveheart, who was charged as an adult, a plea deal of five years probation if he stayed in counseling and stayed out of criminal trouble.

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Kristin Derus Dore, Markey’s cousin, said the family did not believe the punishment for Braveheart fit the seriousness of the crime.

“He died at 39. If anyone’s older than 39, think of all the things you’re doing that he never got to do,” said Derus Dore.  “And, so it doesn’t change it for our family, but it can change it for someone else’s family so maybe next time we do one of these there isn’t a giant line of victims.”

A spokesperson in Moriarty’s office issued the following statement: 

“Our hearts go out to all who have suffered as a result of violence in our communities. Our goal is to protect and improve community safety by looking at the unique circumstances of each case and doing everything we can to prevent something similar from happening again by holding people accountable in a meaningful way. Sometimes that means a long prison sentence and, in some cases, other tools give us a much better chance of protecting public safety.”

Two different judges will rule on the plea deals for Harris and Braveheart in court hearings on Oct. 23.