Jury to decide fate of man accused of killing Birdell Beeks

- The fate of a man accused of killing a Minneapolis grandmother now lies in the hands of a jury.

Joshua Ezeka is accused of firing the bullet that struck 58-year-old Birdell Beeks as she sat in her minivan on May 26, 2016.

The case went to the jury late Tuesday afternoon after both sides delivered their closing arguments. 

In March, a grand jury charged Ezeka with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say he was shooting at a rival gang member and hit Beeks instead. The 58-year-old grandmother was caught in the crossfire while sitting in a minivan with her granddaughter near 21st Avenue North and Penn Avenue.

The defense says Ezeka never intended to kill anyone, and that he was only trying to scare the gang member away.  

During the more than two-week long trial, jurors heard an audio recording in which Ezeka admitted to firing the shot killing Beeks. He has pleaded not guilty.

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