Zaria McKeever death: Last defendants sentenced for roles in killing

Zaria McKeever. (FOX 9)

The last two people convicted for their roles in the shooting death of Zaria McKeever were sentenced in Hennepin County Court on Wednesday. 

Eriana Dewauna Haynes, 25, pleaded guilty to aiding an offender after the fact and was sentenced to 41 months in prison, with two days credit for time served. Corrections officers took her into custody after the hearing.

Her brother, Erick Dewaun Haynes, who is also the ex-boyfriend of McKeever, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years back in April. 

Tavion Michael Darnell James, 25, also pleaded guilty to aiding an offender after the fact but was given just 364 days in jail, which is the time he is scheduled to begin serving on July 5. James was also given a stayed sentence of 42 months in prison for five years, meaning he will be on supervised probation during that time with the threat of additional prison time.

RELATED: Brooklyn Park murder: Family calls on judge to reject plea for teen suspects

The charges stem from their roles in trying to cover for others who were involved in the fatal shooting of Zaria McKeever at a Brooklyn Park apartment back in 2022.

A teen who is believed to have fired the shot that killed Zaria, Foday "Kevin" Kamara, 17, was sentenced to 130 months (nearly 11 years) with 528 credit for time served last month.

The initial handling of the case by Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty was criticized by Minnesota State Gov. Tim Walz and law enforcement leadership after a plea deal was offered that could have resulted in one of the teens suspected of murdering Zaria being in juvenile correction for just two years. 

RELATED: Zaria McKeever killing: Minnesota police union calls for state to prosecute

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison then requested to take over the case after public outcry from McKeever's family. Gov. Walz granted the request last year.

Prosecutors say Haynes sent two teen boys into Zaria's apartment with guns to kill her new boyfriend. It was during this time that Zaria was shot five times. The teens then fled in a vehicle driven by Haynes.

"Accountability is not justice, but it is an important step on the road to justice. With all defendants in this case having now pleaded guilty for their roles in this heinous crime, today is another important step toward justice for Zaria and her family," Attorney General Ellison said in a statement released in April. "Yet nothing can bring Zaria McKeever back to her family, loved ones, and community. We all — her family and her child most of all — continue to suffer her loss. I thank and honor the McKeever family for their steadfast pursuit of justice for Zaria. We must all as a community surround them with the love and support they need on their journey toward healing. My thanks also go to all our partners in law enforcement who helped investigate, charge, and prosecute this crime."