Man sentenced to nearly 23 years for killing 6-year-old girl while fleeing police

He stands accused of murder in a separate trial this fall


Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune

The family of 6-year-old Blessings McLaurin-Grey, 6, held a news conference at the Hennepin County Government Center on Wednesday after the sentencing of Hakeem W. Muhammad.

As a convicted man attempted to apologize Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court for killing a 6-year-old girl during a high-speed chase with police last summer, the judge stopped him with a stern interjection.

"It wasn't a mistake. It was intentional, outrageous conduct, pure and simple," Judge Peter Cahill told Hakeem W. Muhammad. "There is nothing you can say to put yourself in good light. No matter what punishment I can give you, it can't be compared to the pain the family feels."

Muhammad, 29, received the maximum penalty of nearly 23 years after pleading guilty to two felony counts, causing a death and inflicting great bodily harm while fleeing police, in connection with the collision at N. 53rd and Humboldt avenues that killed Blessings McLaurin-Grey, a Disney princess-obsessed girl who beat the odds of a rare chromosomal disorder only to have her life snuffed out by Muhammad as she headed home from the pool last summer on July 15. Blessings' 15-year-old cousin was also severely injured in the crash. Wanted on an outstanding murder warrant, he topped speeds of 90 mph on Brooklyn Center residential streets before colliding with a car carrying Blessings and her cousins.


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