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Minneapolis Man Found Guilty In Drive-By Shooting That Injured 5-Year-Old

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A judge has found a Minneapolis man guilty in the shooting of a 5-year-old girl, officials announced Tuesday. 

Marquell Johnson was found guilty in Hennepin County District Court of second-degree assault, drive-by shooting and illegal possession of a firearm. 

On Aug. 12, a 5-year-old girl was sleeping when a bullet went through her bedroom window, hitting her foot. The girl's mother testified that she was leaving her home, a duplex on the 2100 block of 4th Street N, when a black sedan drove past her and to the alley behind the duplex.

The victim's mother said she knew the driver was connected to the upstairs neighbors. According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, evidence indicates that the shooter got out of the sedan and fired seven shots at the house before driving away. 

The victim's mother was later notified that her daughter had been shot and identified Johnson on social media as the person driving the sedan. 

"This is a very good outcome on a difficult case," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. "Minneapolis police investigators and our prosecutors were convinced Johnson was the right man, although the evidence was circumstantial. We are pleased that justice was done for that little girl. It offends our sensibilities as a people that a child can be sleeping in her bed and be shot."

Hennepin County District Court Judge Kerry Meyer listened to testimony without a jury and reviewed evidence last month. 

Johnson did not testify, but his interview with police was played in court. Meyer stated Johnson was "not credible in any of his statements" and changed his story frequently.

Meyer also wrote that there was "no reasonable conclusion" other than that the driver of the sedan parked behind the duplex, walked to the home and fired shots at the window. Meyer concluded that the shooter was Johnson. 

Johnson will be sentenced on Jan. 7. Prosecutors will seek a 13-year sentence.

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