Man sentenced in 2013 murder over crack cocaine money

Man sentenced in 2013 murder over crack cocaine money Photo: KSTP

December 06, 2018 04:55 PM

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison this week for a 2013 drug-related murder.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 52-year-old Marvin Washington Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month and received a 195-month sentence Monday.


The criminal complaint states police found the victim, 58-year-old Michael "Sonny" Portlance, dead and naked behind a business on the 2600 block of Nicollet Avenue South on Oct. 4, 2013.

Despite surveillance video showing two men pushing a garbage can the morning of Portlance's death, no leads surfaced until February 2017, when a person told police they knew about Portlance's murder and identified Washington as the culprit, the attorney's office said.

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Witnesses told police Washington and Portlance had done crack cocaine before the murder. When Portlance could not pay for the drugs, he gave Washington his EBT card.

But when they checked the balance of the card, there was no money on it. The attorney's office said Washington then beat Portlance until he was unconscious.

A witness said Washington then left the scene and returned later with another man and a garbage can. The witness said he undressed Portlance, put him in the can and left the scene with it.

According to the attorney's office, Washington told the man who helped him "he messed up and killed a man."

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Anthony Brousseau

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