Guilty plea in July 4th fatal shooting

Friday, June 05, 2015

A Brooklyn Center man pleaded guilty to murdering a man at a Fourth of July party last summer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Joseph Lee Smith, 25, of Brooklyn Center, pleaded guilty, Thursday, May 28, to second-degree unintentional murder in the death of Cabrie D. Young, 28, of Minneapolis, prior to the case going to the jury. Smith will be sentenced on July 8 and is expected to be sent to prison for between 141 and 198 months.

“This is a senseless tragedy. Mr. Young had tried to break up several fights at a Fourth of July party he was attending. He was acting as a Good Samaritan when he was shot,” Freeman said. “There was a lot of confusion among the witnesses about what happened, but we aggressively pursued this case and are satisfied with the resolution.”

According to the criminal complaint, Young was one of a number of people who attended a Fourth of July party at a home in the 3400 block of Dupont Avenue North in Minneapolis. Several fights broke out and Smith shot Young in the chest as Young tried to help a man who was knocked unconscious during a fight outside the home. Young ran into the house and Smith followed him and continued to shoot.