Man charged with Brooklyn Park woman’s murder, 2 accused of aiding plead guilty

The final three people charged in the death of Zaria McKeever have pleaded guilty on the day they were scheduled to go on trial.

On Monday, Erick Dewaun Haynes, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree intentional murder, according to online court records. As previously reported, Haynes was charged in the death of 23-year-old McKeever, of Brooklyn Park, who was fatally shot in an apartment on the 6300 block of Zane Avenue in November 2022.

His sentencing has been scheduled for the afternoon of April 12. The first-degree murder charge carries a life sentence in prison.

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Additionally, two others accused of aiding after the fact — Tavion Michael Darnell James and Eriana Dewauna Haynes, Erick Haynes’ sister — also pleaded guilty on Monday. They are both scheduled to be sentenced on June 5.

A total of five people were charged in connection to McKeever’s death. Last month, one of the teens charged in connection to her murder — Foday Kevin Kamara — entered a guilty plea days after being certified as an adult. He faces up to 40 years in prison but, according to his plea deal, he’s expected to receive a sentence of around 11 years (130 months) in exchange for his testimony against others in the case. He’ll be formally sentenced in May.

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Court documents alleged McKeever was in the apartment with her new boyfriend when two teens kicked in the door. One of the teens then fired multiple shots, killing McKeever. Those teens told police, according to a criminal complaint, that Haynes had given them the gun and told them to shoot McKeever’s new boyfriend.

The documents also state that McKeever’s new boyfriend told police that Haynes had been harassing McKeever, who in addition to being his ex-girlfriend, was also his child’s mother, by phone and in person for weeks.

“Accountability is not justice, but it is an important step on the road to justice. With all defendants in this case having now pleaded guilty for their roles in this heinous crime, today is another important step toward justice for Zaria and her family,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said. “Yet nothing can bring Zaria McKeever back to her family, loved ones, and community. We all — her family and her child most of all — continue to suffer her loss. I thank and honor the McKeever family for their steadfast pursuit of justice for Zaria. We must all as a community surround them with the love and support they need on their journey toward healing. My thanks also go to all our partners in law enforcement who helped investigate, charge, and prosecute this crime.”