Rodney Jackson Found Guilty of Second-degree Murder


A Hennepin County jury found Rodney Jackson guilty of second-degree murder late Friday afternoon in the shooting of a man at a south Minneapolis gas station.


After a trial that lasted two weeks and jury deliberations that took about eight hours, the jury decided that Jackson, 28, was guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Mohamed Abdi of Bloomington. The jury acquitted Jackson of first-degree premeditated murder, which would have automatically resulted in life in prison.


Hennepin County District Court Judge Kathryn Quaintance set sentencing for Nov. 26. Prosecutors will argue for a sentence of 30 years in prison.


“We are pleased with the jury’s verdict,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “Mr. Jackson put up a bogus self-defense justification and the jury saw through that. We will argue strongly for a long sentence.”


The broad outlines of the case were not in dispute. On Nov. 6, 2018, Jackson and his girlfriend, Derionna Leake, pulled up to a pump at a gas station in the 2400 Block of Bloomington Avenue. When the couple returned from the convenience store, Jackson’s Chevrolet sports utility vehicle was trapped between two vehicles.


Abdi’s vehicle was in front and Jackson and Leake began yelling at him and Leake threw a jar at him. The car behind them moved and Jackson drove off but parked across the street. Leake threw more items at Abdi’s vehicle and he responded by throwing stones in the direction of Jackson’s SUV. Jackson held a gun out of the window and fired a single shot, killing Abdi.


During the trial, prosecutors played Jackson’s interview with the police.  He said he was “a pretty good shot,” taking first in his permit-to-carry class. Further, Jackson said that in killing Abdi, he lined up the sights on his gun, took a deep breath and then pulled the trigger.


Leake pleaded guilty to second-degree riot and will be sentenced Dec. 13.


Rodney Jackson Criminal Complaint (PDF)