Jury finds Hopkins man guilty of first-degree murder in Minneapolis park


A Hennepin County District Court jury found a Hopkins man guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old George Pineda who was walking through a Minneapolis park, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Chance Adams, 27, will be sentenced on June 13 to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Adams was also found guilty of the other four charges against him, which included second-degree intentional murder, second-degree unintentional murder, aggravated robbery and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

The trial took two weeks, but the jury reached its verdict in less than three hours.

“We appreciate the work of the jury in reaching this guilty verdict,” said Freeman. “There was absolutely no reason for Mr. Pineda to be killed and his friend to be terrorized as Mr. Adams was committing his robbery. He will be 57 years old before he can ask to get out. He deserves that time and may well serve more.”

According to testimony in court and the criminal complaint, Pineda and a friend were walking through Webber Park in North Minneapolis shortly after 3 a.m. on June 17, 2017. Adams approached the two men with a gun. He ordered them to lie on the ground and robbed them. Then Adams shot Pineda twice in the back. With his gun out of bullets, Adams ran away.

Police arrested him a few blocks away, when a person called police to say someone had tried to come through their front door. When police arrived, they found Adams sitting in a nearby car and found items from the victims on the porch.

The jury also came back with three special verdicts; Adams fired the gun, he fired multiple shots and he did it in a public park.