Two Minneapolis men have been sentenced to federal prison for carjacking, kidnapping, and holding a victim at gunpoint for several hours earlier this year, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger on Monday.
Court documents say that on Feb. 14, 2023, T’Shawn Teon Palton, then 20, Jamal Timothy Funchess, 18, and an unnamed juvenile posted an advertisement on Facebook Marketplace to purportedly sell an iPhone. The victim responded and made arrangements to buy the phone.
The victim and the purported seller agreed to meet at a location in Columbia Heights. When the victim arrived at the location and was still in the car, Palton and the juvenile approached. The juvenile had a gun and hit the victim in the face with the firearm. The suspects ordered the victim to the backseat of the car. The suspects then got into the victim’s car, drove a short distance, and picked up Funchess.
The three suspects drove the victim’s car around the Twin Cities for several hours, holding the victim at gunpoint in the backseat. Each of the three suspects at some point held the firearm and pointed it at the victim. During this time, they demanded that the victim surrender his cellphone, wallet, credit cards, and banking information. They drove to several gas stations around the Twin Cities in an attempt to use the victim’s cards to withdraw money. Toward the end of the ordeal, the three men discussed what to do with the victim and openly talked about murdering him. Eventually, they dropped the victim on a road in St. Paul and drove away in the victim’s car. The victim ran to a nearby gas station and borrowed an employee’s cellphone to call 911. Officers were able to use the location of the victim’s stolen cellphone to find Palton, Funchess, and the juvenile, along with the victim’s stolen car and possessions in a hotel parking lot in Bloomington.
Palton and Funchess pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on May 22, 2023, to one count each of carjacking.
Palton and Funchess were sentenced last Friday by Senior Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Palton received 108 months in prison, and Funchess received 100 months in prison. The sentences for each will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Unlike Minnesota state sentencing which currently only requires offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated, federal inmates must serve a minimum of 85 percent of their sentence before becoming eligible for supervised release.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bloomington Police Department.
– – –
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.