Strickland-Green sentenced to 20 years in activist's murder

Tuesday,

The man who was convicted of fatally shooting an entrepreneur and community activist was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Sid Strickland-Green III, 28, was sentenced to 240 months in prison in the murder of 33-year-old Tyrone Williams last spring. A jury convicted Strickland-Green last month of unintentional second-degree murder.

“Tyrone Williams was an outstanding and caring young man,” Freeman said. “We believed from the moment we received the case that the most important thing was to convict the shooter and obtain a long sentence for him. And we did that.”

Hennepin County District Court Judge William Koch handed down the sentence after listening to an hour’s worth of victim impact statements from the family of Tyrone Williams Monday afternoon.

“He was in the process of changing our community,” said Williams’ uncle Sidney Nevils. “He was a rising star in the African-American community.”

His oldest sister, Kendra Pierson, described him as Minneapolis through and through. Born at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, he was raised in South Minneapolis where he played football at Powderhorn Park and was a hockey player. A graduate of Washburn High School, he attended college in Ohio. After that, he chose to return to Minneapolis, and among other things, he began coaching youth football back at Powderhorn Park.

Williams wanted to be an entrepreneur and started Black Coalition Clothing, designing and selling streetwear, Pierson said. Williams was an activist in the African-American community but his concern for people went beyond Minneapolis.

“We were personally stunned at all the ways he gave to people,” Pierson said.

The family learned that not only did Williams travel to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline project, but that he helped save a 15-year-old boy who fell in the river, Pierson said. Tribal representatives draped Williams’ coffin with a warrior quilt at his funeral.

Williams had been reading to his children before he went to work and was confronted by Strickland-Green, who he knew. The mother of three of his children, said in her statement that she and the two boys and a baby girl were devastated by the murder.

“We’re all going to miss his presence,” she said. “Our baby girl, her first word was dada. She won’t have any memories except for the picture of him and her on the wall.”

Senior Hennepin County Attorney Dan Allard asked for the maximum sentence of 252 months under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. He noted that Strickland-Green was already a convicted felon for threatening his mother and a police officer. As a result, he was not supposed to have a gun. After shooting Williams, he didn’t try to help him, but rather, fled and was on the run to Duluth and then Mississippi for two months.

Strickland-Green’s attorney argued for 179 months in prison, the lowest amount called for in the guidelines.