Zaria McKeever killing: Erick Haynes sentenced to life in prison

A Hennepin County judge sentenced the ex-boyfriend of Zaria McKeever to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years on Friday afternoon.

Erick Dewaun Haynes, 23, pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder for ordering two teenagers to break into McKeever's apartment and kill her boyfriend, as well as her if she got in the way. Court documents show Friday's sentencing aligns with the plea agreement that Hayes signed on April 1.

Prosecutors say two other suspects in the case, Eriana Haynes and Tavion James, also pleaded guilty to charges of aiding an offender for their roles in trying to cover up the shooting.

Court documents say that in November 2022, two teenagers, who were 17 and 15 years old at the time, kicked in the door of an apartment in the 6300 block of Zane Avenue North in Brooklyn Park during the early morning hours.

McKeever's boyfriend at the time told police that he was upstairs when he heard the door get kicked in. The boyfriend said he got nervous, so he jumped out of the second-story bedroom window to run for help.

Officers then found McKeever on the ground with a gunshot wound to her lower abdomen. She was pronounced dead at the scene despite life-saving efforts. 

The criminal complaint states that Haynes told investigators he was upset that his relationship with McKeever had ended and that she was with another man. He added that he knew the teens were planning to kick in the apartment door and confront the couple inside while he waited in the car.

The gunman, 17-year-old Foday Kamara, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on March 22. His sentencing is scheduled for May 8.