Teen charged in woman's shooting death at Bloomington hotel

A teenager was charged in connection to a woman's death on July 12 at a hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 17-year-old Dequan Smith, of St. Paul, was charged by juvenile petition with second-degree murder and prohibited person with a firearm in the shooting death of 39-year-old Jennifer Swaggert.

Prosecutors filed a motion to have Smith certified as an adult.

Additionally, Smith's mother, Trimeanna Williams, was charged with aiding Smith after the murder.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 12, a housekeeper for LaQuinta Hotel found a woman dead from what the autopsy determined was a single gunshot to the face. Investigators learned that the room had been rented from July 9 – 12. On July 13, Williams called the hotel and said she wanted to come by and retrieve the belongings she left behind. Hotel management contacted police, who eventually spoke with Williams learning that she stayed at the hotel with her children on July 11 through the early morning on July 12, the petition states.

Williams told police that she was in the room with her “best friend” Swaggert. Also in the room were Williams’ three sons, including Smith, and three other teenagers who were friends of Smith.

The witnesses said at some point during the day of July 11, Williams had a gun and fired a shot outside in the air. Later, Smith was fighting with Swaggert because she would not give Williams money to pay for a storage unit. As he pointed the gun at her, Swaggert asked Williams if she was going to let her son shoot her. Williams told Smith not to shoot Swaggert, but seconds later, he did.

According to the complaint, Williams then told everyone in the room to leave. They all headed to a nearby gas station where Williams ordered a car to take the group to south Minneapolis where witnesses say they threw the gun in a lake.