Teen accused of killing St. Paul father enters guilty plea for 2nd-degree murder
A 17-year-old who is accused of killing a St. Paul man outside his home earlier this year has pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder.
A judge signed off on moving the case against Kle Swee to adult court on Wednesday.
Swee was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the killing of 44-year-old Michael Brasel.
The defense will be allowed to argue for a durational departure and the State will be seeking the maximum sentence of 40 years permitted under the plea agreement.
Police were called to Brasel’s home on Chilcombe Avenue on the morning of May 6 after Brasel’s wife found him outside the house suffering from gunshot wounds. She started chest compressions and Brasel was taken to a hospital but he died from his injuries.
According to charging documents, police were able to track the vehicle that was seen speeding away from the scene to Swee, and his cellphone data put him in the area at the time Brasel was shot. Authorities were also able to link his friend, Ta Mla, to being at the scene. Mla has also since been charged.
While Swee wouldn’t talk to police, a criminal complaint states that Mla admitted that he, Swee and another person were looking through cars for items to steal when they came across Brasel’s vehicle. Mla said he was rummaging through the vehicle while Swee was in the car when Brasel surprised them and grabbed Mla, and then he heard gunshots and fled.
After finding fingerprints of a third person in Swee’s vehicle, police interviewed that person and he admitted to being a passenger when the shooting happened, confirming what Mla said and adding that he saw Swee pointing the gun at Brasel when the shots were fired. That person added that a fourth person was also in the back of the vehicle, and that they were all surprised and didn’t know Swee had a gun, the complaint states.
The fourth person gave the same story, saying Swee fired through the open window at Brasel and then drove off after Mla got back inside.
Swee’s sentencing date is set for Oct. 4 at 9 a.m.