Plea offer under fire after deadly Minneapolis carjacking

A plea deal prosecutors have offered a young defendant involved in a deadly carjacking has enraged the victim’s family.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is offering five years of probation to now 20-year old Husayn Braveheart, an armed assailant, in exchange for his guilty plea to aiding and abetting second-degree murder. 

If the plea deal is accepted, and Braveheart remains trouble free for the five-year probation period, he would not have to serve a single day of a 261-month prison sentence behind bars.

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 Steven 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.

Ohsman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as a certified adult, and was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison in July, 2020.

Meanwhile, Braveheart has had his case ping-pong between juvenile and adult court. The Minnesota Supreme Court eventually signed off on his adult certification. He has been locked up for approximately four years, completing a couple different treatment programs.

Hennepin County prosecutors believe he has shown strong progress towards rehabilitation. They have made him an offer, to plead guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder in exchange for the five years of probation – with the very same 21-plus year prison sentence Ohsman received hanging over his head.

It is a deal the Markey family finds incomprehensible.

"It is an insult to my son, but that's not the point," said Steven’s father, Jerry Markey. "My son is gone. Nothing brings him back. But it is also a danger to everyone who lives in Hennepin County. Do you want your daughter to park your car where this guy can see her and potentially carjack again? This man is violent multiple times. He has shown it. He deserves a long prison sentence."

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty, who has brought a different philosophy on juvenile justice to the office in her first-term, countered, "He has successfully completed two residential treatment programs. He has made significant progress, very significant progress. And so, sending him to prison based on everything we know will create more trauma and make him likely to be more dangerous when he gets out."

She added, "Hussayn Braveheart has been extraordinarily responsive to the carefully selected treatment that he has been able to access since he has been incarcerated in jail for the last four years. And that was treatment that was recommended by the court psychologist during the certification hearing four years ago. If we interrupt that treatment right now and send him to prison, we in terms of public safety, I would be much more concerned about what he will be like when he gets out in ten years. And so, it is really important that we not disrupt his progress in that treatment. And I think that's in the best interest of public safety."

The deal must still be approved by Hennepin County Distict Court Judge Michael Burns. 

A plea hearing is on the calendar for Friday afternoon. In addition to five years of probation, the plea agreement calls for up to one year in the workhouse that prosecutors have described as a sort-of transition to acclimate Braveheart back into society.

Markey’s family plans to speak out against the deal in court, in hopes Judge Burns rejects the proposal.