A 25-year-old homeless man who ocassionally stays with his brother in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul has been charged with second-degree murder after a 20-year-old St. Paul man was killed in an alley. Police are not saying that he specifically killed the man, but that he has aided and abetted in the unintentional death of the man. The fact of the matter remains, however: this young man has been charged with a very serious violent crime.
The facts from which St. Paul police are working seem to have some holes, including the fact that the gun that was found on the man at the time of his arrest is not the gun that fired the bullets that killed the 20-year-old. Although the victim’s wallet was found inside of a grill in the front yard of the homeless man’s brother’s house, stealing a wallet is not the same thing as murder.
Police responded to a call earlier this month of a dead man next to his car. As part of their investigation, officers found a fingerprint on the front passenger door handle. They matched it to the homeless man, yet when they brought him in for questioning, he said that he had been given a ride to the gas station. The man’s story was corroborated by surveillance footage outside the gas station that shows the defendant, the victim and two others getting into the victim’s car.
Ultimately, this is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences. What this also means, however, is that the police and prosecutors will need to present a solid case, leaving no question unanswered and no doubt of the man’s guilt to get a conviction, an incredibly difficult feat.
Source: Pioneer Press, “Man charged with murder in St. Paul alley shooting,” Richard Chin, Oct. 24, 2013