Grieving St. Paul mom speaks out against plea deal in son's murder

The mother of Alex Becker, the man killed in St. Paul steps from his home, spoke out against a plea deal for a man who pleaded guilty to Becker's murder.

Becker was murdered two days after Christmas 2022 during a robbery in St. Paul in a dark alley of Lawson Avenue West -- just steps away from his mother's home. Becker was on his way home from work when police said he was apparently jumped by three men: Detwan Allen, Shaun Travis, and Arteze Kinerd.

Travis was first to face trial and was ultimately acquitted by a judge. Allen was second to go to trial, and he was convicted of second-degree murder for Becker's death and sentenced to just over 30 years for the murder.

Kinerd took a plea deal in February, after Allen's guilty verdict in December 2023. In court on Monday, Judge Nicole Starr moved forward with the plea agreement, handing down the sentence of just over 30 years behind bars. Of that, he will serve two-thirds of the sentence in prison -- about 20 years -- followed by 10 years of supervised release. Kinerd was also sentenced in a kidnapping case on Monday, which will run concurrently with his murder sentence.

In court, ahead of the official sentencing, Becker's mother pleaded with the judge to turn down the deal.

"It's obscene to have to argue the validity of Alex's life while begging for his murderer not to be free to harm more people," Tara Becker told the court. "When I wake up tomorrow, Alex will be dead. He'll still be dead in 30 years. In 30 years, Kinerd will be able to cause more harm to another person, another family."

"He has a long history of hurting people and the only person he's shown care for is himself," Tara Becker added.

"These cases are always hard because the reality is that I simply cannot punish Mr. Kinerd enough to ever bring Alex back," Judge Starr said. "There is nothing I could do that would ever make his family whole; make his friends or his community whole. And as I was thinking about this case – and I've been thinking about the sentencing for quite some time -- I thought a lot about this idea of kindness. And so, I can't offer any comfort to this family. I simply can't, I can't -- I'm bound by this plea agreement, and I intend to follow it."

Judge Starr later read a poem and urged Kinerd to reflect on the harm he caused over the next two decades.

Kinerd is slated to be released in March 2043.