Guilty plea in drive-by killing of man going to help grandmother


A Minneapolis teenager pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a drive-by shooting that killed a 19-year-old who was riding a bicycle, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Marcel Farr, 19, also pleaded guilty to second-degree assault during his court appearance Thursday morning. He is expected to receive 367 months in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 26. Farr was scheduled to go to trial on a first-degree murder indictment Feb. 5 but agreed to plead guilty instead. He was 17 at the time of the murder but certified as an adult.

“Mr. Farr will be sentenced to 30 years in prison but his stupidity is hard to comprehend,” Freeman said. “First, there was no reason to hop in a car and chase down these young men. Second, after they exchanged some words, he could have just let the victims ride away. And finally, there was no reason for him to shoot a gun, firing four shots to scare them. Because once fired, bullets will hit something and on that day, it hit the innocent young bicyclist.”

According to the criminal complaint, Farr’s admissions in court and other information, Tabyis Paskins of Brooklyn Park was bicycling with a friend about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2016. They were on their way to help Paskins’ grandmother when they passed a house near Logan and Hillside Avenues North in Minneapolis. There were several people outside the house and one of them called out the name of Paskins’ friend. They ignored the group and continued pedaling towards Brooklyn Park.

A few minutes later, near 25th and Logan Avenues North, a red Jeep with that same group from outside the house, caught up to the two bikers. Farr, sitting in the rear passenger side seat, called Paskins’ friend by name and said “ain’t you with the Pack?” The bicyclist said he didn’t do gang activity anymore and Farr said that was good or “I would have killed you.”

As the two men continued biking north on Logan Avenue, they heard gun shots and saw Farr firing out of the Jeep’s window. Paskins said he was hit. An ambulance was called, but he died later that morning at the hospital. He had been hit in the abdomen. Police found four discharged cartridge casings on the road where the Jeep was driving when Farr was shooting.

Police returned to the house where the group was first seen and the red Jeep was parked there and Farr was arrested inside the house.