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Attorney General's Office secures final guilty pleas in murder of Zaria McKeever

April 1, 2024 (SAINT PAUL) — The Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today secured guilty pleas from the three remaining defendants in the brutal November 8, 2022, murder of Zaria McKeever by securing guilty pleas from the three remaining defendants. As part of a plea agreement with the Attorney General’s Office, Erick Haynes pleaded guilty to one count of 1st-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court. The State’s indictment of Haynes alleged that he sent two juveniles into an apartment with guns to kill Zaria McKeever’s new boyfriend. In the process, the juveniles shot Ms. McKeever five times, including at point-blank range to her head. The juveniles fled the scene in a vehicle driven by Mr. Haynes. This offense carries a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 12.

In addition, Eriana Haynes and Tavion James pleaded guilty in court today to one charge each of aiding an offender after the fact for their roles in covering up the shooting. The State will recommend the court impose sentences of 48 months and 42 months, respectively, in connection with their pleas.

In July 2023, Attorney General Ellison’s office secured a grand-jury indictment that included two counts of 1st-degree murder and one count of 2nd-degree intentional murder against Erick Haynes. Haynes was previously charged with two counts of 2nd-degree murder in November 2022.

On March 22, 2024, Attorney General Ellison’s office secured a plea of guilty from Foday Kevin Kamara to one charge of 2nd-degree intentional murder for his role in Ms. McKeever’s murder.

“Accountability is not justice, but it is an important step on the road to justice. With all defendants in this case having now pleaded guilty for their roles in this heinous crime, today is another important step toward justice for Zaria and her family,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Yet nothing can bring Zaria McKeever back to her family, loved ones, and community. We all — her family and her child most of all — continue to suffer her loss. I thank and honor the McKeever family for their steadfast pursuit of justice for Zaria. We must all as a community surround them with the love and support they need on their journey toward healing. My thanks also go to all our partners in law enforcement who helped investigate, charge, and prosecute this crime.”

The Brooklyn Park Police Department, Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and other assisting law enforcement agencies all conducted a thorough investigation of this crime. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office laid the first charges in this case.

 

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