Second murder nets Patterson life in prison

Wednesday,

Tyrel Patterson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, one of two he committed in less than a month, and was immediately sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of release after 30 years, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Patterson, 29, of Minneapolis, will serve the sentence concurrently with one imposed for the other murder in Scott County. That sentence also was life with the possibility of release after 30 years.

Before Hennepin County District Court Judge Jay Quam Wednesday morning, Patterson entered his guilty plea in the Oct. 29, 2016 murder of Richard Ambers. Ambers’ mother, wife and younger sister all gave victim impact statements before the sentencing.

According to the criminal complaint and Patterson’s admissions in court, about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 29, 2016, Patterson, Ayan Wahab and Derrick Smith were at a Super America station. Ambers was there, too, trying to sell marijuana. Smith told Wahab to befriend Ambers and find out more about the money and drugs so they could rob him.

Eventually, Ambers and Wahab parked his car at 48th and Bryant Avenues North which was near Brandy Lee Jacques house. Wahab went into Jacques’ home and discussed with Smith and Jacques how to rob Ambers. Wahab then went back to the car and sat with Ambers for a few minutes until Patterson rapped on the vehicle’s window. Wahab left the car and soon heard three gunshots, the complaint states.

A jury convicted Smith of first-degree murder earlier this year. Wahab and Jacques pleaded guilty to aiding an offender or accomplice after the fact.

Three weeks after the murder of Ambers, the same group, minus Wahab, robbed and killed James Herron in his Prior Lake home on Nov. 23, 2016. Like Ambers, Herron was targeted because of drug activity. Patterson already was convicted and sentenced in the Herron murder.