Oakdale man receives 4-year prison term for role in downtown St. Paul robbery, fatal shooting

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An Oakdale man has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the robbery and fatal shooting of a St. Paul man near the Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul.

Jesse Willis Gleeson was with Keland Makeba Kamese Raino when Raino shot Deondrae R. Atkins about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 13, 2022, according to the criminal complaints. People familiar with Atkins told police he sold fentanyl pills in the area from his parked car, where he also routinely slept.

Jesse Willis Gleeson (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

Gleeson and Raino were charged with two counts of aiding and abetting murder. In July, prosecutors added an aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery charge against Gleeson, then dropped the murder charges.

Gleeson, 33, pleaded guilty to the robbery charge last month and in exchange prosecutors agreed to seek a prison term capped at four years. He was sentenced Wednesday, and received credit for 386 days already served in custody.

Raino’s murder case is pending in court, with a hearing scheduled for Feb. 7. He also has a mental health civil commitment hearing scheduled for Dec. 13 in Hennepin County District Court.

According court records, Raino, 46, of Minneapolis, has eight prior felony criminal convictions, including four for making terroristic threats, and since the mid-1990s has been civilly committed and recommitted several times in Hennepin County for being mentally ill and dangerous and chemically dependent. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is delusional.

Five days before the murder, Raino was recommitted in Hennepin County “as a person who poses a risk of harm due to mental illness,” according to the criminal complaint. The next day, he was provisionally discharged from a hospital. His case worker told investigators she dropped him off at a St. Paul apartment building in the 200 block of Ravoux Street west of Marion Street.

Victim died on sidewalk

Officers and paramedics responded to the 200 block of West Ninth Street just after 2 a.m. on a report of a man who was unresponsive on the sidewalk. Paramedics pronounced Atkins, 33, dead.

Atkins had a large amount of money in his pants pockets, and a cellphone and bullet were near his body. People told police that Atkins’ Saturn Aura was missing.

Surveillance video showed someone parked a Dodge Journey near Atkins’ Saturn about 12:15 a.m. About a half-hour later, Raino got out of the Dodge’s front passenger seat and approached the Saturn. He appeared to speak to Atkins before returning to the Dodge.

Just before 1:30 a.m., Raino approached Atkins from the passenger side of the Saturn. Gleeson exited the Dodge’s driver’s seat and stood behind Raino.

Raino’s “arm quickly pulled back and up as if he pulled an object from his waistband” and Gleeson walked to the rear driver’s side door and tried to open it, but it was locked, the complaint says.

Gleeson tried to open Atkins’ driver’s door, but it didn’t open. Gleeson “flinched as if reacting to a gunshot,” the complaint said.

Deondrae R. Atkins (Courtesy of the family)

Atkins then opened his car door and walked away from his Saturn while hunched over. Raino pointed a gun over the Saturn’s roof at Atkins, who walked across the street and collapsed on the sidewalk.

Gleeson ran back to the Dodge and drove away. Raino got in Atkins’ Saturn and also drove away.

An autopsy showed a bullet entered Atkin’s right arm, traversed his body and exited his left shoulder.

Police located Atkin’s Saturn parked in the 200 block of Ravoux Street in St. Paul. A handgun was found in the driver’s seat floorboard area, Atkin’s wallet was in the center console, and there were suspected fentanyl pills in the car.

Just after 8 p.m., Raino went to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis seeking mental health treatment. He wore the same black jacket and shoes that he wore during the murder, the complaint said.

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