Gunman in killing of Alex Becker as he walked home in St. Paul gets 30-year prison sentence

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The man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a 21-year-old as he returned to his St. Paul home from work received a 30-year prison sentence Monday.

Arteze Owen Kinerd, now 21, admitted in February to being in a group that selected Alex Becker at random to rob in the North End.

Arteze Owen Kinerd (Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Corrections)

Kinerd is the last person to be sentenced in the case. The prosecution and Kinerd’s attorneys had agreed to a prison term that would fall on the low end of state sentencing guidelines, which Ramsey County District Judge Nicole Starr said Monday she was bound by.

On the evening of Dec. 27, 2022, Kinerd said he was a passenger in a car with two other people when they drove past Becker, whom he didn’t know. He said the driver pulled over and parked, and they waited until Kinerd got into an alley near Lawson Avenue and Kent Street.

Kinerd said during his guilty plea that he had a 9mm gun and he put Becker at gunpoint to rob him. Becker “snatched somebody else’s gun” from the group — a person who was standing in front of Becker and pointing the gun at him, Kinerd said. In response, Kinerd said he shot Becker eight times. To a prosecutor’s question, Kinerd agreed he’d shot Becker with the intention of killing him.

Kinerd also pleaded guilty at his February hearing to kidnapping a man on Dec. 9, 2022, in St. Paul’s Merriam Park during an armed robbery. He said he’d put the man “in the back seat at gunpoint” because he wanted to take his vehicle and everything he had, and they drove away with him in the vehicle. When a prosecutor asked how Kinerd had picked the man, he responded, “He was in a Porsche.”

Kinerd’s guilty pleas were to aiding and abetting intentional second-degree murder and kidnapping.

Federal prosecutors had notified Kinerd he was the target of prosecution in the kidnapping case and additional gun charges, but they’d agreed not to pursue charges if Kinerd was sentenced in Ramsey County court in accordance with the plea agreement, Daniel Gonnerman, Kinerd’s attorney, said at the hearing when he pleaded guilty.

He will serve both sentences at the same time.

Jurors in December found Detwan Cortell Allen, 20, guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder in the killing of Becker. He received a sentence in April of 30 years and seven months.

The third man charged in the case, Shaun Lamar Travis, was acquitted in December. Travis waived his right to a jury trial and a bench trial was held instead. Ramsey County District Judge JaPaul Harris concluded there wasn’t a dispute about the 26-year-old Travis being present, but said the prosecution didn’t prove all of the elements of an intentional murder charge to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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