Minneapolis murder felon indicted in separate case from 7 years ago

A man already serving a lengthy prison sentence for killing an innocent bystander near downtown Minneapolis has now been indicted on first and second-degree murder charges in a deadly shooting seven years ago.

Court records show Marvel Williams has a lengthy rap sheet of violent crimes and deadly gun violence that has landed him in courtrooms and prison cells. He was sentenced to more than 24 years behind bars for his role in a deadly, rolling shootout that claimed the life of 18-year-old Autumn Merrick in October 2021.

Merrick was killed on a scooter in the city’s popular North Loop neighborhood as wild gunfire ended in a violent crash involving Williams and a rivals’ vehicle.

"This was senseless, and Mr. Williams, you were part of this," Hennepin County district court Judge Juan Hoyos told Williams at the time, when handing down a maximum sentence for the crime.

Now, the 36-year-old Williams is charged again in a separate incident. This one from May 2017, in the middle of the afternoon at 30th and Irving avenues north.

That is where 22-year-old Aaron Williams was seemingly executed, shot in the head while he sat in a van. Police said at the time, the two parties were acquainted, with the gunman quickly fleeing the scene in a separate vehicle.

It would take Minneapolis police investigators and prosecutors seven years to finally connect all the dots with a Hennepin County grand jury indicting Marvel Williams on charges of first-and-second-degree murder.

The newly unsealed indictment contains zero details on any motive or how Marvel Williams escaped responsibility for so long. The County Attorney’s office would provide no further details on the case.

Marvel Williams made a brief court appearance on the new charges Friday afternoon via Zoom from lock-up at the Rush City prison. At the end of the hearing, Williams said he did not know why he was appearing in court, asking the judge and attorneys what he was charged with.