Harper pleads guilty to killing son, sentenced to 40 years in prison

Friday, January 15, 2016

Reggie Harper has spent the past 400 days in the Hennepin County Jail, awaiting his Jan. 25 trial for brutally beating to death his 23-month-old son. Friday, he decided to take the deal offered by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and spend the maximum 40 years in prison.

Harper, 24, of Brooklyn Park, pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in the death of Kazerion Harper on Dec. 9, 2014. In exchange, a first-degree murder charge was dropped by prosecutors.

The baby’s mother and grandmother both gave emotional victim impact statements. The mother said that Harper had inflicted mental, emotional and physical abuse upon her and because of the murder, she lost her parental rights to Kazerion’s older brother.

During his guilty plea, Harper admitted that the baby was making noise and he assaulted his son. The criminal complaint indicates that the baby was crying and he would not allow the mother to tend to him. Instead, he put Kazerion on the floor and punched him repeatedly and threatened to hurt mom if she interfered. By the time paramedics arrived, Harper had fled. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Harper also admitted to the aggravating circumstances in the crime that allowed the judge to raise the prison sentence from the guidelines of 306 months to the 480 sentence he received, which is the maximum allowed under law. Those aggravating circumstances were that Harper was the boy’s father, that the victim was an infant, the cruel manner in which he was killed and that it happened in the boy’s home, which is considered a safe zone.