Man who killed 1, injured another sentenced to over 26 years in prison

A man was sentenced Tuesday morning to over 26 years in prison for killing one man and disfiguring another two years ago on a Metro Transit bus in Minneapolis.

Malcolm James Lessley, 29, pleaded guilty on May 26 to one count each of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder in connection with the killing of 51-year-old Tommie McCoy.

A petition filed on May 26 in Hennepin County District Court said Lessley would be sentenced to about 26 years (320 months) in prison for the second-degree murder charge, with a nearly 17-year (203 months) sentence for the second-degree murder charge to be served concurrently.

On Tuesday, Judge Jay M. Quam of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District upheld the terms agreed upon in that petition.

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“He took a bright light from our family,” McCoy’s sister, Lavenia McCoy, said.

Lavenia spoke at the sentencing, saying Tommie always put family first.

“For you to just take someone’s life, and they weren’t a threat to you, you need to know what it meant to a family, for you to take a life, and not know what it means,” Lavenia McCoy said.

Prosecutors say officers responded to a reported shooting the night of Feb. 6 inside Ramp A at First Avenue and Ninth Street. Dispatchers told police the shooting happened aboard a Metro Transit C-Line bus and a person was shot in the face.

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Emergency personnel found McCoy lying on the ground in a pool of blood. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another man who had been shot in the face was taken to the hospital in critical condition, a criminal complaint states.

Police tracked down Lessley a few blocks away and arrested him. He matched the description witnesses gave to police and he had a 9mm handgun in his waistband.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt any more powerless, this is the most powerless I’ve ever felt because I can’t give you want you want, I can’t give you what you deserve, I don’t have answers, I don’t know why this happened,” Judge Quam said.

Lessley also spoke at his sentencing and expressed regret.

“I want to take this time to apologize to the victim’s family, I didn’t have intentions on hurting anybody, I wasn’t in my right mind,” he said.