Suspect in Zaria McKeever killing indicted on 1st-degree murder charges

Suspect in Zaria McKeever killing indicted on 1st-degree murder charges

Suspect in Zaria McKeever killing indicted on 1st-degree murder charges

A Brooklyn Park man is facing elevated murder charges after a grand jury returned an indictment against him for the killing of his ex-girlfriend last year.

Court records show a grand jury returned an indictment against 22-year-old Erick Dewaun Haynes Friday, charging him with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of intentional second-degree murder in connection to Zaria McKeever’s death.

The development comes over three months after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the prosecution of the case from Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty.

RELATED: Walz intervenes, assigns AG Ellison to handle Zaria McKeever murder case

Haynes was already charged with second-degree murder and faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Now, if he’s convicted of first-degree murder, he’ll face life in prison.

McKeever, 23, was killed at an apartment in the 6300 block of Zane Avenue North in Brooklyn Park on Nov. 8, 2022.

RELATED: 2 teens, Brooklyn Park man charged with murder in ex-girlfriend’s killing

Court documents alleged that she 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.

A total of five people have been charged in connection to McKeever’s death, including the two teens and Haynes. The two most recent charges were filed in late March. However, two weeks later, Walz asked Ellison to take over the case after Moriarty opted to keep the teens’ cases in the juvenile system rather than adult court, where her predecessor sought to have them certified. That move drew criticism from many in the community and ultimately led to the attorney general’s intervention.

With Friday’s indictment of Haynes, he re-appeared in court Friday afternoon and had his bail increased to $2 million. His next hearing is set for Aug. 25.

Ellison sent the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Friday regarding the development:

“My office and I are using the full extent of the law to pursue justice for Zaria McKeever and her family.”