Judge Michael Burns rejected a plea deal Monday that Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s office offered to one of the defendants in the 2019 murder of Steve Markey.
Moriarty announced a plea deal Aug. 4 for 20-year-old Husayn Braveheart, who was 15 in June 2019 when he and Jared Ohsman killed the 39-year-old Markey during an attempted carjacking in Northeast Minneapolis.
Under the deal, Braveheart pled guilty to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder. In exchange, he was to serve up to one year in the workhouse and five years of probation with a suspended prison sentence of 21 years, meaning he would have only served time in prison if he violated the terms of his probation.
In a rare move, Burns rejected that deal in court Monday afternoon.
“We were surprised,” said Susan Markey, Steve’s sister. The family said they expect Braveheart’s case to go to trial.
Braveheart’s accomplice was 16 at the time of the murder but was certified as an adult. He pled guilty to intentional murder and is serving a 21-year sentence.
Markey’s family has been speaking out against the plea deal for weeks. In a letter to Attorney General Keith Ellison, Markey’s mother said Braveheart “planned and initiated” the crime spree that led to her son’s death.
“Hennepin County Attorney Moriarty’s plea offer to Braveheart of probation and a relatively short time in the county workhouse is far too lenient for being the accessory to a brutal murder. Markey’s family has described this plea deal as a ‘complete injustice.’ I agree. Court records show that Braveheart, along with his accomplice, acted with intent to rob and steal, both possessed firearms illegally, and both fired shots at the victim,” Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, wrote in a letter to the judge before Monday’s court hearing.
This is the second time this month a judge has rejected a plea deal orchestrated by Moriarty’s office.
Ahead of Monday’s hearing, Moriarty’s office argued that Braveheart was particularly amenable to probation, had a “lesser role” in the incident since he didn’t fire the fatal shot, and has made progress in treatment over the last four years.