MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The father of a man convicted of fatally shooting a 12-year-old boy in Minneapolis has pleaded guilty to his role in the crime.
Letterance Grady, 42, pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of aiding an offender by being an accomplice after the fact and by harboring or concealing to avoid arrest for his role in the death of 12-year-old London Bean.
The 42-year-old father was accused of driving his son, then 18-year-old Jeremiah Grady, to and from the shooting scene in the Sumner-Glenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis on Sept. 8, 2021.
According to court records, Jeremiah arrived at a house on 8th Avenue North and Aldrich Avenue North and fired shots at Bean as the 12-year-old was involved in a fight with his younger brother, charges said.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Bean with gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
Family identified the boy killed in a shooting in Minneapolis on Wednesday as 12-year-old London Michael Bean, a sixth grader. (Supplied)
Letterance initially denied his involvement, but prosecutors say he was captured on surveillance videos driving his son, and Jeremiah also claimed his father encouraged him to retaliate and told him to shoot from the car, charges allege.
Prosecutors charged Letterance with multiple felonies, including aiding and abetting second-degree murder, aiding and abetting attempted second-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and aiding an offender.
Letterance's trial was scheduled to start on Jan. 2, 2024, but he submitted a change of plea just days before it was set to begin. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5, and under the terms of the plea agreement, he could spend 10 years behind bars, according to court records.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah was sentenced in August to 367 months (30.5 years) for second-degree murder and 183 months (15.25 years) for attempted second-degree murder in the deadly shooting of Bean.
Bean family upset with guilty plea
Bean’s family said Monday, they felt blindsided by the plea agreement and were not happy with the consequences for Letterance Grady.
"I was crying to them and I told them (Hennepin County Attorney’s Office) that it was not fair," said Crystal Hill, London’s mother. "Everything that they told me that they were fighting for, it ended up being a lie because they did not fight for my son as I expected them to."
Hill told FOX9’s Paul Blume, she would have rather seen the case go to trial this week.
"I feel like he had more to play in the part," Hill said, adding that Letterance Grady should have been the adult in the situation.
"I cry all the time - holidays, birthdays. I cry all the time. I just feel like I let my son down," explained Hill. "I should have fought harder. So, I think that is the reason why I am still so emotional. I don't feel like my son got his justice."
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty responds
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty told Blume directly, that she first pushed for tougher consequences for Letterance Grady, believing at the time, he may have been more culpable than his son.
But as the facts evolved, she became convinced that was not the case.
And while Moriarty believes the older Grady played a role in what happened, Jeremiah Grady is the one who ultimately acted on his own accord, to pull the trigger.