Man pleads guilty in shooting death of teen trying to buy sneakers in Plymouth

A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty for his role in the fatal shooting of an Albertville teenager over a pair of Balenciaga sneakers. 

Hans Madave, 20, pleaded guilty on Thursday to second-degree murder with intent in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Yaseen Thomas Johnson

According to court records, Johnson went to a Plymouth apartment complex, on the evening of Nov. 14, 2022, to buy a pair of high-end sneakers, but instead, he was shot three times in cold blood as part of a robbery scheme. 

Augustus Sirleaf, Madave’s alleged co-conspirator, told L.W. and Madave that he was planning a "lick" (slang for robbery) and needed their help. The trio met up, and Sirleaf and Madave planned the details of the robbery, charges allege.

A witness told police he and Johnson went to the apartment parking lot to buy a pair of shoes. When they arrived, two men, identified as Sirleaf and Madave, were standing by the garbage cans and got into the witness' vehicle. Johnson had a conversation about the shoes Sirleaf, in the backseat, charges allege.

Sirleaf gave Johnson one of the shoes, and Johnson gave Sirleaf half the money. After Johnson looked at one shoe, he decided he liked them and gave the other half of the money to Sirleaf. Sirleaf then told Johnson to give him the one shoe back, but Johnson said no. That's when Sirleaf allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at Johnson, the witness told police, according to court documents.

Law enforcement responded to the scene and found Johnson slumped over in the passenger seat of a vehicle parked near the dumpsters – both rear doors of the Buick Enclave were open, and there were bullet holes in the windshield.

Johnson was declared dead at the scene. 

Sirleaf is facing charges of second-degree murder with intent and second-degree murder while committing a felony for his alleged role in the crime. His trial is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13. 

If found guilty, Sirleaf faces up to 40 years behind bars. 

As part of Madave’s plea agreement, prosecutors dropped an additional felony second-degree murder charge. He is expected to serve between 150 and 180 months (12.5 to 15 years) in prison.