Zaria McKeever killing: Erick Haynes pleads guilty to murder

Zaria McKeever. (FOX 9)

Zaria McKeever's ex-boyfriend, Erick Haynes, pleaded guilty in court on Monday, the day his trial for first-degree murder charges was set to begin, according to court records. 

A grand jury indicted Haynes on two counts of first-degree murder and second-degree murder for allegedly ordering two teenagers to break into McKeever’s apartment in Brooklyn Park and kill her new boyfriend, and her if she got in the way. 

Haynes pled guilty to first-degree murder. He will be sentenced on April 12.

Along with Haynes, two other suspects in the case, Eriana Haynes and Tavion James, also entered guilty pleas on charges of aiding an offender after the fact for their roles in covering up the shooting, prosecutors said.

Shooting at Zaria McKeever's apartment 

Court documents state that in November 2022, the two teens, then 17 and 15 years old, kicked in the apartment door on the 6300 block of Zane Avenue North early in the morning. 

McKeever's current boyfriend, who was upstairs at the time, told police he heard the door being kicked in and McKeever arguing with someone. He said he got nervous, so he jumped out of the second-story bedroom window and ran to get help. 

When police arrived, they found McKeever on the ground with a gunshot wound to her lower abdomen. Officers attempted life-saving measures, but she was pronounced dead.

The charging documents state there were multiple bullet holes throughout the apartment, near the bedroom and bathroom. There was also damage to the door frame, indicating a forced entry. 

During an interview with investigators, Haynes allegedly told police he had been upset that his relationship with McKeever had ended, and she had a new boyfriend. He reportedly told investigators he knew the teens were planning to kick in the apartment door and confront the couple inside while he waited in the car, according to the complaint. 

Haynes allegedly added he bought the gun the teen had used and gave it to him that night. The Hennepin County K9 unit found the weapon hidden in the wheel well of a Dodge Charger. Forensic testing on the gun showed it matched the casings located in McKeever’s apartment, the complaint states.

The suspected gunman, 17-year-old Foday Kamara, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8. Haynes's sentencing has been scheduled for April 12.