Jury convicts in 2013 shooting of innocent bystander by gang member

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A jury convicted Marlon Rashaad Robertson of first-degree murder in the June 2013 slaying of Kevin Braziel, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Robertson, 23, of Robbinsdale was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole. The verdict was returned Monday afternoon following an 11-day trial. The jury also found him guilty of attempted second-degree murder of two men standing near Braziel. He also was convicted of witness intimidation for writing letters from jail asking for help in convincing witnesses not to testify.

“We are very pleased with the work of this jury,” Freeman said. “We finally have justice for Mr. Braziel, an innocent bystander, and for his family. And the hard work, under difficult circumstances, by Minneapolis police investigators and our prosecutors proves once again that we take all murders in this county seriously and we will root out gangsters no matter how long it takes.”

On the evening of June 24, 2013, Braziel, 21, of Minneapolis, was standing on the sidewalk in front of the Chicago Grill, 2118 W. Broadway Ave. with two other men when someone fired eight shots from the alley behind the restaurant. Braziel was struck several times and died in the hospital nearly two weeks later.

Police were able to determine that several friends of Robertson, all members of various gangs, robbed one of the men standing with Braziel back in April 2013. The victim cooperated with police in that case and Robertson and his friends wanted him killed for cooperating, according to the criminal complaint.

On July 16, a number of law enforcement agencies worked together to recover the gun used in the shooting in St. Paul, although it had passed through so many hands that there was no physical evidence to connect it to Robertson. Investigators also looked at Robertson’s Facebook page and found numerous postings related to the man who was standing with Braziel and Braziel’s death.  Police eventually executed a search warrant on Robertson’s home and recovered distinctive autumn-colored Timberland boots that were described by one of the witnesses to the shooting, the complaint states.