Maple Grove man pleads guilty to fatal stabbing in car


A Maple Grove man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing another man as they sat in a car and he is expected to receive 15 years in prison, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Brandon Bockoven, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to second-degree unintentional murder in the death of 21-year-old Sean Maina, also of Maple Grove. He will be sentenced on April 18 and as part of the negotiated guilty plea, is expected to be sentenced to 180 months in prison.

Under questioning from Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard, Bockoven admitted that when he pulled out the knife, he intended to either scare Maina or stab him. He acknowledged that the stab wound to the chest killed the young man and that Bockoven stabbed him intentionally.
In response to questions from his own attorney, Bockoven said he was giving up his right to use a mental illness defense and would not take the case to trial.

According to his testimony in court and the details from the criminal complaint, Bockoven and Maina were sitting in the front seats of a car parked near University and 13th Avenues S.E. on the evening of Aug. 25. Two other people were in the backseat.

The two men were arguing about money Bockoven said Maina owed him for auto parts. Bockoven stabbed Maina and he died a short time later at the hospital. When police arrived, he handed them the murder weapon, a blue folding knife.