Unrepentant murderer sentenced to 50 years in prison

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for fatally shooting one woman and injuring a second woman, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Marco Anthony Gresham, 25, was sentenced to 240 months in prison for the attempted first-degree murder of a victim identified as V.G. and 367 months for killing 24-year-old Francesca Desandre on July 5, 2014. Hennepin County District Court Judge Kathryn Quaintance ordered those two sentences to be served consecutively.

“As happened this year, there was a surge of gun violence around the Fourth of July last year,” Freeman said. “That is deplorable, but at least friends and relatives can see that the Minneapolis police pursue these cases with vigor and we work hard to obtain the convictions and long prison terms. Mr. Gresham is a danger to society and will be an old man when he is released.”

A jury convicted Gresham a month ago. According to the criminal complaint and the trial testimony, Desandre hosted a Fourth of July party at her home at 2617 Third St. N. in Minneapolis. Later in the evening, Desandre, Gresham, V.G. and several others from the party drove to several downtown clubs in Gresham’s car.

When they arrived back at Desandre’s home just before 5 a.m. on July 5, 2014, Gresham confronted V.G. about her knowledge of Gresham’s alleged involvement in a St. Paul homicide earlier in the year. She denied any knowledge, but Gresham pointed a gun at her, pulled her close and fired one shot into her abdomen.  It was only because of quick and excellent medical care that she survived, according to the trial testimony.

Desandre immediately ran but Gresham fatally shot her.

During his sentencing Thursday morning, Gresham showed no remorse, instead saying he didn’t do the shooting and he said he would be back before Judge Quaintance after his successful appeal.

The judge was unmoved.

“I’ve heard the facts of this case twice,” Judge Quaintance said, referring to the case against Vincent Millender, who was charged, but acquitted of riot in the case. “This was gratuitous gun violence,” and it occurred in a residential neighborhood with no mitigating factors.

Gresham’s brother, Ryan Pettis, was indicted for aiding and abetting in the shooting and his trial is set for Sept. 14.