Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Today Judge Mark Wernick sentenced Malcolm Maghundi Jackson to 306 months in prison for the June 1 shooting death of Trequan Sykes. Jackson pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder on June 19th.
“This is a tragic and senseless case,” said Tom Arneson, managing attorney for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Juvenile Prosecution Division. “One 16-year-old-boy is dead and another is going to prison for a long time.”
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Teresa Froehlke explained to the court that prosecutors accepted this plea agreement in part because the defendant immediately accepted responsibility. He cooperated with the police investigation and admitted his guilt in open court just two week after the murder. Although prosecutors had considered seeking more serious charges, the plea agreement for second-degree murder fits the facts of the case and takes the defendant’s age and lack of prior delinquency into account. “This is an appropriate resolution to a tragic situation.”
The victim’s family spoke during the sentencing, expressing their grief for their son and their sympathy for the Jackson family.
Phaedra Singleton, the victim’s mother, explained that she was initially confused and upset by the agreed-upon sentence. She continued, “I put my shoes on his mother’s feet; I would want my son to have a life.”
Susie Moore, the victim’s great-grandmother eloquently stated her hopes and prayers for Jackson and his family. “I assume he is a good man who didn’t realize what he put his family or our family through. As time goes by, he will learn the hurt… [I am] praying and hoping some counseling will be available to help him get through this.”
Later, Jackson turned to the victim’s family and apologized. “I know sorry won’t bring him back, but I am.”
After the sentencing, in the hallway outside the courtroom, the defendant’s parents approached the victim’s family. They apologized for their son’s actions and the families tearfully embraced.
This sentence meets the recommendations of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines for second-degree intentional murder when the defendant does not have a criminal history. The defendant has credit for 54 days. Restitution was ordered for the victim’s family.
“We have had too many shootings involving young people this year,” said County Attorney Mike Freeman. “I know a lot of young people are making good choices, but we have to do better with those making bad decisions. You can’t take a bullet back.”