Man Convicted of Manslaughter in Green Line Assault of Senior Citizen Now Facing Several Gun Charges

Cavis Deandre Adams (Photo: MN Dept. of Corrections)

A 23-year-old man with a history of receiving plea bargains on convictions for violent crimes committed at transit stations, including manslaughter, is now facing new weapons charges in two Twin Cities counties.

Cavis Deandre Adams should have been incarcerated at the time of the September 2016 assault at the Robert Street Green Line transit station that resulted in the death of 68-year-old Gebremedhin Tela. Just two months prior, Adams had been convicted of felony robbery in another violent assault on a man at the Rice Street Green Line transit station in March 2016. However, in the Rice Street case he was given a plea bargain that dismissed a first-degree aggravated robbery charge and he pleaded guilty to a lower charge of simple robbery.

Instead of being sentenced to four years as called for on the dismissed charge, Adams was given a stay of imposition on the lowered felony charge and sentenced to just 60 days in local jail leaving him released just days prior to the deadly September assault on Tela.  

After stealing Tela’s cellphone at the Robert Street Green Line light rail transit station and trying to flee, Adams, then 21, punched the elder man in the face causing him to hit his head on a pole and fall unconscious. Tela died four days later from a blood clot and the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. Adams was eventually charged with second-degree unintentional murder as well as one count of aggravated robbery in Tela’s death, according to a report.

Adams’ probation on the prior Rice Street robbery conviction was revoked shortly after the attack on Tela and he remained incarcerated throughout the proceedings in Tela’s death.

In yet another plea bargain, Adams agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter in April 2018 for Tela’s death. The plea bargain dismissed two murder charges and an aggravated robbery charge. Adams was sentenced essentially to time already served on the prior probation violation while awaiting disposition in the case involving Tela. He was released from custody shortly thereafter and placed on supervised release.  

According to the new charging documents filed in both Anoka County and Hennepin County, Adams is now facing four felony weapons related charges in two separate incidents within two days of each other in early May.

According to the Anoka County complaint, Columbia Heights officers were dispatched on May 7 to a report of a motor vehicle crash on the 3700 block of Central Avenue Northeast.  Responding officers were informed that prior to their arrival two of the males involved in the accident had run from the scene towards a drug store nearby and may have placed items by the dumpster before returning to their vehicle.  Witnesses described seeing one of the males pull a handgun from inside his waistband and hid it near the dumpster.

When officers arrived on scene the two males were by their vehicle. One male was identified as Adams.  Officers subsequently searched the area by the dumpsters and located brass knuckles and a loaded handgun with the serial number removed.  Officers were able to watch video surveillance from the drug store and were able to identify that Adams had placed both items in the same location that officers found them. Adams had left the scene before officers found the weapons. Charges were filed and a warrant was issued for Adams’ arrest two days later.

According to the Hennepin County complaint, on the evening of May 9, Metro Transit officers were dispatched to the Government Center Plaza light rail station in downtown Minneapolis, and upon arrival observed a fight underway between three men. Officers broke up the fight and identified the two primary aggressors, one of them was later identified Adams.

While officers attempted to calm the scene and detain both aggressors, a female reported to police that the same men had threatened her earlier in the day with a small silver gun while she was riding the light rail. She told police they had a gun with them in the duffel bag being carried by Adams.

Police searched Adams and the other male and did not find anything on their person. Police then searched the duffel bag in Adams’ possession, and located a small silver gun and 34 rounds of live ammunition separate from the gun.

Adams has been charged in Anoka County with one felony count of possession of firearm or ammunition by an ineligible person, and one felony count of possession of a firearm with altered/removed serial number.

In Hennepin County Adams has been charged with two felony counts of possession of firearm or ammunition by an ineligible person.

Adams’ prior convictions for manslaughter and robbery make him ineligible to possess a firearm or ammunition under Minnesota statute.

Adams is currently in custody in Hennepin County Jail on $100,000 bail and his next court appearance is scheduled for June 13 in that county. Adams still has an active arrest warrant on the Anoka County charges and no court date has been set yet for those charges.


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