Zaria McKeever killing: Erick Haynes indicted on first-degree murder charges

For the family of Zaria McKeever, the last eight months have been filled with grief and frustration. But now they see a glimmer of hope.

"This is another step for justice for us, and it's a long time coming, but we're thankful it has arrived, even if it's taken a while," said McKeever's stepfather Paul Greer.

McKeever's ex-boyfriend, Erick Haynes, had been charged with second-degree murder for being the alleged mastermind behind her death. Now a grand jury has indicted him on two counts of first-degree murder, including one for premeditation, along with one count of murder with intent.

"We agree. It should have been that from the beginning with all the evidence that they had. It was all premeditated and all planned out, so he got what he deserved," said McKeever's sister Tiffynnie Epps.

Investigators believe Haynes bought a gun and ordered two teenagers to kill McKeever's new boyfriend and her if she got in the way.

Then the 15-year-old and 17-year-old boys left Zaria's apartment in Brooklyn Park riddled with bullets, while her boyfriend jumped out of a second-story bedroom window and ran for help. But when police arrived, they found Zaria shot dead.

"We think everybody played equal parts because everyone had full understanding, and they wanted to be a part of something so bad, and that's what they did," said Epps.

Governor Walz gave prosecution of the case to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison after Zaria's relatives were outraged over plea deals from Hennepin County.

Attorney Mary Moriarty would have given the 15-year-old who shot and killed Zaria two years or less in juvenile prison. Now her loved one's say they'll continue to fight to ensure all those involved in Zaria's death are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"We are thankful for what's been done at this point, and we have every hope that this process is going to continue for justice for Zaria," said Greer.