Guilty plea in November murder of food truck mechanic


The man who fatally shot a mechanic working on a food truck pleaded guilty to second-degree murder just two months after the crime, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Henry Cousins, 32, of Minneapolis, agreed to plead guilty to unintentional murder while committing second-degree assault. He will be sentenced to 21 years in prison on Feb. 13.

During his guilty plea, Cousins said that he considered the victim, 26-year-old David Ryman of Mounds View, as family. He said he had even allowed Ryman to live with him in the past.

But he acknowledged that he was angry with Ryman for not finishing the work on three different cars, for which he had paid him $700. When he learned on Nov. 6 that Ryman was working on a food truck near 47th and Lyndale Avenues North, he had a friend drive him there so he could confront him over the money.

According to the criminal complaint and his admissions in court, Cousins got into an argument with Ryman.  Cousins admitted that he brought a gun along because he thought others with Ryman might have one. However, even though he admitted he never saw anyone else with a gun before or during the argument, he pulled out his gun and went to hit Ryman in the head with it.

Instead, the gun went off and fired one bullet into Ryman’s chest, just below the neck, killing him at the scene, the complaint states. Cousins told his companions, police and everyone in the courtroom that Ryman wasn’t supposed to get shot.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)