MINNEAPOLIS — A man charged in a deadly carjacking could avoid doing any time behind bars, and the victim's family is furious.
The family just started a petition asking Gov. Tim Walz to step in and take the case out of the hands of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.
The 20-year-old man who was charged is scheduled to be sentenced for his role in the murder in a little over a month. Before that, the victim's family hopes a plea deal that would give him probation will be pulled.
Kristin Derus Dore says her cousin, Steve Markey, was a kind, loving soul. In 2019, he was shot and killed while being carjacked in northeast Minneapolis.
"They did a phenomenal job investigating and catching the suspects right away," Dore said.
The shooter was 16 at the time, certified as an adult, and is now serving more than 20 years in prison. But his accomplice, Husayn Braveheart, was 15 and was only recently certified as an adult after an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court — a process that took four years.
Last month, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty told WCCO Braveheart responded to those programs so well that her office offered him a plea deal that would put him on probation instead of behind bars.
"We usually don't have an opportunity to see how somebody does when they get the types of services and programs that people recommend that they need," Moriarty said last month. "From everything we know, he'll be in a much worse place coming out of prison. So my thought process was in terms of public safety, that we need to build on what's happened in terms of his successful completion of programming, and put him on probation that's carefully supervised."
Markey's family disagrees with Moriarty's move.
"So my cousin's life is only worth probation?" Dore said. "We don't believe in the death penalty. We're not seeking an eye for an eye. We're not seeking a life sentence or throw the book at him. But probation I feel like does a disservice to our family, to my cousin's life, and to our entire community. That just doesn't seem right."
Markey's family has now started a petition, hoping the governor takes the case out of Moriarity's hands, just like he did earlier this year in the case of Zaria McKeever.
"So we're hoping to follow in their footsteps and get Keith Ellison and Tim Walz to step in and just do this case a little more justice, because it doesn't feel like we're getting that from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office," Dore said. "Our family feels re-victimized by that office at this time."
WCCO reached out to the governor's office Wednesday night to see if this is something they're considering, but we haven't heard back yet.
A judge is scheduled to decide Braveheart's fate here in the courthouse next month.
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