Driver gets nearly 29-year prison sentence in Lake Street murder


A Minneapolis man was sentenced to almost 29 years in prison for his role in a fatal shooting on Lake Street, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

John Allen Davis 51, was the driver of the car carrying Mashawn Moore and Marshawn Winston when they spotted 52-year-old James Salter and decided to rob him. Davis stopped the car and Moore went out and robbed and shot Salter.

At the sentencing Friday, a victim impact statement from Salter’s widow, Brenda, was read out loud. In it, Brenda Salter described how they had been married for 33 years and they had been together since she was 13. The murder has been hard on their family and she has been hospitalized twice since her husband was killed.

“My heart hurts and the pain, I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she said in her impact statement.

In the early morning of July 7, 2016, the three men were driving around looking to rob a man who had crossed Davis and Winston. When they couldn’t find him, they saw Salter near Lake Street and Fifth Avenue South and decided to rob him instead. Davis pulled the car over and Moore got out with the shotgun, pointed it at Salter’s chest and eventually pulled the trigger.

Davis’ lawyer asked for a reduced sentence because Davis was just the driver and was not the planner, he has shown remorse and he could not fully understand what he was doing that night because he was on drugs and had been suffering from anxiety for several months. So, Davis should be sentenced to no more than 240 months in prison, according to his attorney.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Joshua Larson argued for 360 months in prison, noting Davis’ long criminal history, that he knew the shotgun was in the trunk of his car and after Salter was shot, Davis told Moore to go back to the lifeless body and rummage through his pockets for valuables.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Gina Brandt said that what struck her as she read all of the reports is that Moore was only 18 at the time and Winston 21, while Davis had just turned 50. Not only was Davis involved in planning the robbery, but he was the most mature. Judge Brandt noted that Davis transported the shotgun in his car before and after the shooting and didn’t call 911 but took them all to McDonald’s for something to eat after killing Salter.

Brandt sentenced Davis to 345 months in prison, with credit for 662 days already served. He also must pay $5,937 in restitution. As part of the deal, Judge Brandt also dismissed the first-degree murder charge against Davis.

Moore, the shooter, already was sentenced to 367 months in prison and Winston’s sentencing is pending.