Minneapolis man sentenced to more than 32 years in prison

Monday,

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to more than 32 years in prison after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder for running down a pedestrian in a parking lot, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

The attorney for 41-year-old Derrick Forest asked for 10 years in prison, while prosecutors requested more than 38 years. Hennepin County District Court Judge Regina Chu decided on 386 months after a long court hearing Monday morning. Siblings, cousins, children, a grandchild and the mother of the victim, 48-year-old Bertrand Davis of Rochester, all gave victim impact statements before the sentencing.

Testimony and video from surveillance cameras introduced at Forest’s trial from June 24 through July 7 revealed that in the late morning of Dec. 29, police were sent to 510 Eighth St. S. where a man had been struck by a Jeep Compass in the parking lot.

Forest had been sitting in the Jeep with his girlfriend when Davis walked up, opened the driver’s side door and stabbed Forest in the left side of his back. Forest was able to drive away, but then turned the vehicle around and drove after Davis. Davis used another parked vehicle in the lot as protection and after Forest tried to hit him and missed, Davis moved to escape through an opening at the corner of the lot.

However, Forest accelerated to 22 miles per hour and struck Davis, knocking him into a wall. A witness, who had to dive into a snowbank to avoid getting hit, saw Forest get out of the Jeep and repeatedly stomped on Davis’ head. The medical examiner’s autopsy found that Davis died from blunt force injuries to his pelvis caused by the Jeep.

The two men knew each other only slightly and it was not clear what started the argument although there was a possible dispute over $60. Forest was taken to the hospital by paramedics to treat his stab wound.

During the trial, his defense attorney argued that Forest hit Davis accidentally. Monday, his attorney argued for the 10-year sentence by saying that Davis was the “first aggressor.” However, Judge Chu said that Forest acted in cold blood before handing down her sentence.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)