MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Hennepin County judge accepted Husayn Braveheart's guilty plea on Thursday for his involvement in a deadly 2019 carjacking that killed Steve Markey.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office surprised Markey’s family today when a second-degree murder charge for Braveheart was knocked down to first-degree attempted assault. The family says they weren’t made aware of the change until today’s hearing.
Braveheart, 20, was sentenced to 54 months in prison in exchange for his guilty plea, but with credit for time served, he is done with incarceration for the crime he carried out when he was 15 years old.
This is the second plea deal offered by the county attorney's office after a judge rejected the first in October, which was for five years of probation if Braveheart pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder, meaning he wouldn’t serve any time behind bars if he stayed out of trouble. The judge rejected that plea as it was a sharp downward departure in sentencing that he couldn’t accept.
However, the judge accepted the new plea deal on Thursday, stating he couldn't "reject a plea that confirms to the guidelines and offense."
But Judge Michael Burns did have reservations saying in court today, "I have great concern to whether the system is doing you a service or disservice," the judge told Braveheart during the hearing. "I am concerned about the message you were receiving, and whether that will lead to more harm by you or others in the city. I hope you get counseling."
Braveheart currently has credit for 1,647 days served, which satisfies the sentence of 54 months as stated in the terms of his plea agreement. However, he remains in custody for two pending aggravated robbery cases.
"Our job is a difficult one, it is to hold people accountable, protect public safety, and achieve a fair and just result. We believe that we have reached that balance in this case. We know some will agree and others will not. Mr. Braveheart, a juvenile when he committed this terrible crime, has made enormous strides and been responsive to treatment during the past five years of his incarceration," Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement. "That treatment might have prevented this crime in the first place had he received it, and we believe the treatment will prevent a future crime if it continues, which this sentence allows. As always, our heart goes out to the Markey family, who suffered a terrible tragedy."
Steve Markey’s sister said Moriarity’s decision is political and that "This is a pattern of behavior. It’s a violation of the victim’s rights statutes, and frankly, Mary Moriarity and everyone on her team should be ashamed of themselves."
In June 2019, Braveheart was just shy of his 16th birthday when he was involved in a deadly carjacking with teen co-defendant, Jared Ohsman, in northeast Minneapolis.
The pair admitted they were attempting to rob Markey and steal his car late on a Tuesday afternoon. While both young men fired, it was Ohsman’s bullet that killed the 39-year-old Markey. He was sentenced to 20 years.