Man found guilty of assault, acquitted of murder in shooting that killed teen in Richfield
A Hennepin County jury found a man guilty on one count of second-degree assault in connection with a shooting in February that killed 15-year-old Jahmari Rice and injured two other teens outside South Education Center in Richfield.
Alfredo Rosario Solis, 20, was acquitted on all other charges, including two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.
His sentencing for the assault conviction is set for Jan. 3. He faces at least three years in prison, with a maximum possible sentence of seven years.
Another defendant charged in the shooting, 19-year-old Fernando Valdez-Alvarez, is due to go on trial in February. He is charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with Jahmari’s father, Cortez Rice, following the verdict. He said he felt let down by the justice system.
“It’s just absurd. It’s beyond me, literally,” he said. “Too many guns out here. Literally way too many guns out here. If we cannot protect our babies on these streets or even in schools, then what are we here for?”
According to a criminal complaint, one of the three victims told police he and the two others had followed Solis and Valdez-Alvarez out to the school parking lot the afternoon of Feb. 1. A brief fight broke out in which one student punched Solis, which prompted Valdez-Alvarez to start shooting.
The three students turned away from the gunfire and toward the building, while Solis and Valdez-Alvarez fled in an SUV, the complaint states. Other witnesses who were nearby recalled hearing a volley of shots at first and then more shots being fired from the vehicle as it was driving away.
Rice was rushed to Hennepin Healthcare after the shooting but did not survive. A 17-year-old victim was critically hurt, while the third victim, age 19, suffered minor injuries.