St. Paul man stops his trial to plead guilty to murder

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A St. Paul man stopped his first-degree murder trial and pleaded guilty to the fatal Father’s Day shooting in Robbinsdale, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Zittie Taylor, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in the death of 29-year-old Jody Tyrone Fry of Chicago. He agreed to a sentence of 390 months in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 19. Two Hennepin County prosecutors were halfway through presenting their case to the jury when Taylor agreed to plead guilty and avoid life without parole if the jury convicted him.

According to the criminal complaint and the facts laid out in Taylor’s guilty plea, Fry was a friend of the family living in the 5600 block of 42nd Ave.N. in Robbinsdale. He had spent the evening of June 18, 2017 celebrating Father’s Day with others at the house.

Taylor, meanwhile, had been at the house most of the day. Just before midnight, he saw Fry sitting in a white car.

Taylor walked up to the car with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and fired seven times, with five of the bullets striking Fry’s head and face and the other two hitting his neck. When police arrived, Fry was dead and Taylor had fled.

To a direct question from a prosecutor during his guilty plea Monday, Taylor refused to give an answer as to why he shot Fry.

This was the second time Taylor pleaded guilty to the murder. In September, he pleaded guilty and was set to receive 312 months in prison. However, a pre-sentence investigation showed that one of his felony convictions in Illinois would not have qualified as a felony in Minnesota, so he argued his sentence should be lower than 312 months. The judge allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea.