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Man pleads guilty to first-degree assault in connection to string of robberies, shooting of musician

Jonell Butler. Photo: Hennepin County Jail
Jonell Butler.

Updated: July 23, 2019 03:57 PM

One of two people involved in a string of robberies in Minneapolis and the shooting of a local musician entered a guilty plea on Tuesday in Hennepin County court. 

According to court papers, Jonell Butler, 35, from Minneapolis, entered a guilty plea for one count of first-degree assault — great bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty to two first-degree aggravated robbery charges as part of the plea deal.

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His sentencing is set for Aug. 19.

The other suspect involved in this case, 36-year-old Natalie Nicole Box of Hibbing, was sentenced to 78 months (about 6.5 years) in prison on June 19. She had pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery, but entered the same kind of plea deal as Butler, who subsequently had the two aggravated robbery charges dropped in exchange for pleading guilty to the assault charge.

The charges were in connection to a string of robberies that occurred on Sept. 8, Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, 2018.

In the Oct. 5 robbery, local musician Aaron "Hix" Lee and Katie Szczepaniak were robbed, and Lee was shot in the stomach near 13th Avenue NE and Fourth Street NE. Lee has since made a full recovery.


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Woman sentenced for role in string of robberies, shooting of musician

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2 suspects charged in connection to string of armed robberies, shooting of local musician

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