Jury finds Minneapolis man guilty in fatal shooting


A Hennepin County District Court jury found a Minneapolis man guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Dwayne Hawkins, Jr., Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

On Friday afternoon, Willie Brown, Jr., 35, was convicted of one count of second-degree murder, one count of drive-by shooting and one count of second-degree assault after a jury deliberated for about four hours. Brown will be sentenced December 12 .The Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 386 months in prison for the murder charge. The drive by shooting could be 48 months consecutively, and the assault charge concurrently.

According to the criminal complaint, police were sent to the 1900 block of Newton Avenue North shortly after 5 a.m. on April 26 to investigate a report of shots fired. They found Hawkins lying in the street with two gunshots wounds.

While still investigating his death that morning, police were sent to a shooting in the 2900 block of Sheridan Avenue North. A woman who had been propositioned by Brown a few days earlier said that he drove by her house in an Impala and fired several shots, according to the complaint.

Officers searched the area and found the Impala. The car’s interior was covered in blood. A short time later, officers found Brown walking in the neighborhood and arrested him, the complaint states. They searched the area between the car and where he was arrested and found two handguns in the gutter of an unattached garage. The guns matched the discharged cartridge casings found at the scenes of the two shootings.

Investigators also received a call from Brooklyn Park Police that a stash of bloody clothes had been found in a car wash. The surveillance video showed Brown driving up in the Impala during the time between the two shootings, getting out of the car and dumping the clothes inside the car wash, according to the complaint.