Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Five people were taken into custody early Saturday morning in connection to a homicide at the Mall of America.

A suspect is taken into custody in St. Louis Park related to the MOA homicide (submitted to Crime Watch)

Danell Ann Christner, 38, of Maplewood was sentenced Thursday in Ramsey County District Court to just over four years in prison related to a downtown St. Paul robbery last year that resulted in the shooting death of the victim, 37-year-old Alexander Christoff. Under the terms of a plea deal, a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder was dismissed against Christner in the Aug. 29, 2021, shooting homicide that took place in the parking ramp of SpringHill Suites at 472 Jackson Street.

Danell Ann Christner (2021 mugshot/Lincoln County, NE)

Christner, who was identified as a prostitute in the complaint, pled guilty to an amended charge of first-degree aggravated robbery. Charges say Christner had a planned meet up with Christoff at the hotel. After leaving Christoff’s hotel room, Christner called Leneil James Colbert, one of four other people charged in the case, and told him that Christoff had a lot of money and drugs and a nice car.

Court documents state that three others, Anthony Melvin Lamont Curtis Pryor, Franklin Carnelius Spriggs, and Tarrance Daronze Hardie, later showed up at the hotel parking ramp, confronted Christoff and shot him when he refused to exit his vehicle.

Clockwise from top left: Anthony Pryor, Franklin Spriggs, Leneil Colbert, Tarrance Hardie (MN Dept of Corrections/Ramsey County Jail)

Pryor was also convicted last week on a charge of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 128 months in prison. Spriggs and Hardie were each convicted earlier this year on aid/abet second-degree murder and were sentenced to 273 and 171 months, respectively. Colbert was convicted by a jury on second-degree murder in November and is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

With credit for time already served in jail and Minnesota’s two-thirds sentencing rule, Christner is scheduled for release from prison in August 2024.


Coincidentally, Anthony Melvin Lamont Pryor, Sr., 41, along with Amber Marie Roderick, 37, were arrested in Coon Rapids Friday and charged on Tuesday related to shoplifting hundreds of dollars of merchandise from Burlington Coat Factory, charges say.

Anthony Pryor Sr and Amber Marie Roderick (Anoka County Jail)

Both were separately charged in Anoka County District Court with felony theft and made their first court appearances on Tuesday. Both were granted public defenders, and both were ordered conditionally released with zero bail required by Judge Todd R. Schoffelman.


Justin Michael Kittleson, 20, of Maple Grove was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury related to an armed carjacking outside a Blaine grocery store in September during which a shot was fired.

Justin Michael Kittleson (Sherburne County Jail)

According to court documents, on September 24, 2022, Kittleson targeted two victims as they left the Cub Foods grocery store in Blaine and loaded groceries into their car. Kittleson approached one of the victims at the trunk of the car and pointed a gun at them. The second victim attempted to intervene, and a struggle ensued. The gun discharged, and the shot is believed to have grazed the second victim’s ear. Kittleson took control of the car and drove away. A 9mm shell casing was recovered at the scene by officers with the Blaine Police Department.

After reviewing surveillance video footage and with the assistance from other members of the public, officers were able to identify and locate Kittleson. On September 29, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a residence associated with Kittleson and recovered two 9mm firearms (the same caliber as the casing found at the scene of the carjacking) and a hooded sweatshirt that matched the sweatshirt Kittleson was seen wearing in the surveillance footage.

Kittleson is charged with one count of carjacking and one count of using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Kittleson has been ordered to remain in custody pending further court proceedings.

Kittleson should have been in prison at the time of the Blaine armed carjacking as a result of two separate Hennepin County convictions involving gun-related charges in June and August of this year. However, in the June conviction on second-degree assault where Kittleson fired a gun at another person, the 36-month prison sentence was stayed by Judge Julie Allyn in a downward dispositional departure. In the August conviction on illegal possession of a pistol in a motor vehicle, Kittleson was sentenced to serve zero days of a 365-day sentence by Judge Joseph R. Klein, just one month prior to the carjacking. Kittleson was instead ordered to serve concurrent 180-day sentences in both cases on electronic home monitoring and was placed on probation.


Police in Bethel were dispatched Friday at about 4:30 a.m. on a report of a burglary of an occupied dwelling in progress. When they arrived, they found the suspect, later identified as Cameron Wesley Haapoja, 34, in the driveway.

Cameron Wesley Haapoja (Anoka County Jail)

Charges filed on Tuesday say the homeowner told police they were awakened to loud banging, their dog barking, and a male, later identified as Haapoja, standing on their back deck. Due to the outside temperature, the homeowner opened the door to see if the man was alright. When the homeowner asked the male to leave, Haapoja said, “I’m going to f–k you and your house up.” Haapoja gained entry into the home and punched the homeowner in the face when the homeowner tried to push him out. The homeowner was able to push Haapoja out of the house and lock the door. Haapoja proceeded to damage an outdoor light and tore down the home’s holiday lights before police arrived.

Haapoja was charged in Anoka County District Court with felony first-degree burglary and misdemeanor fourth-degree damage to property. Haapoja made his first court appearance on Tuesday and was ordered conditionally released with zero bail required by Judge Todd R. Schoffelman. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2023.


The Scott County Sheriff’s Office reported they are conducting a death investigation after the body of a male was discovered Friday morning near the northbound exit ramp from County Road 2 (260th Street East/Deuce Road) onto Interstate 35 in New Market Township.

“Our investigators will be working with the Medical Examiner’s Office to make an identification and determine the circumstances surrounding this death,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen. “The investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.”

If anyone has any information that could assist investigators with this case, please contact the Scott County Sheriff’s Office on the non-emergency line at 952-445-1411. Crime tips can also be submitted online using the online form found on the Sheriff’s Office website under “Community.” If you’d like to submit an anonymous tip, you can call Crime Stoppers toll free from anywhere in Minnesota (1-800-222-TIPS [8477]) or use their online form on their website at www.CrimeStoppersMN.org.


The Carver County Sheriff’s Office reported that they responded Friday to the Waconia McDonalds on a report of an attempted robbery. The suspects reportedly fled on foot, so deputies flooded the area and a K9 was deployed. They said an adult male and juvenile were subsequently arrested on various charges. As a result of the investigation detectives were able to recover what is commonly referred to as a “ghost gun” or a home-built firearm with no serial number. There were no reported injuries sustained by any victims or suspects, police said. Information on the adult party arrested was not immediately available.


A 19-year-old man was shot and killed Friday inside the Nordstrom department store at Mall of America in Bloomington, during what the police chief later described as a brief physical altercation between two groups consisting of five to nine black males.

The scene played out just before 8 p.m., when an officer in an adjacent business called out that shots had been fired at Nordstrom. Life-saving measures were taken by responders, but the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. Police later said several of the involved parties fled out a door from Nordstrom to the parking lot. The mall was locked down for about an hour before closing, and patrons were asked to leave.

Early Saturday morning, SWAT teams from St. Louis Park, Edina and Minnetonka assisted Bloomington police in executing a search warrant at a St. Louis Park apartment building (top photo) at 275 Shelard Parkway where five people were taken into custody related to the shooting homicide — two adults aged 18, and three juveniles aged 17.

Taeshawn Adams-Wright and Deandre Antioun Depratto (Bloomington Police Dept.)

The two adults have been identified as Taeshawn Adams-Wright and Deandre Antioun Depratto. All five remained in custody on probable cause charges of second-degree murder, police Chief Booker Hodges said in a Saturday evening press conference. The chief said the suspects were uncooperative in providing information on what led to the shooting but said there appeared to be a “longstanding feud” between the groups involved in the altercation. The chief expressed confidence that the shooter was one of the adults in custody, but questions remained on whether there was a second shooter. Chief Hodges indicated police were still trying to track down a sixth individual.

Bloomington police posted an update on Tuesday saying a charging extension had been granted while evidence continues to be reviewed. Charges from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office are due at noon Wed., Dec 28 for all five suspects. BPD also said that no additional arrests have been made.

The deceased party has since been identified as 19-year-old Johntae Raymon Hudson. Police are still asking anyone with information or video related to the homicide to contact police at 952-563-4900.


Chaska police reported the arrest of a suspected mail thief on Saturday after an alert neighbor reported a suspicious person going through mailboxes and looking inside parked vehicles.

Police said they responded about 10 a.m. to the area of Scenic View Drive and Crest Drive where they located the man walking down a residential street. When the officers detained him, over 30 pieces of stolen mail fell out of his winter coat. The man also had suspected methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia in his pockets.

When the man first noticed the officers, one officer saw him throw something into a snowbank. After detaining the man, the officer went back to look in the snowbank and found a fully loaded 9mm handgun with its serial number scratched off.

Jail records show lifelong offender Nicholas Charles Jennrich, 40, was booked into Carver County Jail on probable cause charges of mail theft, possession of burglary tools, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number. He had not been formally charged as of noon Tuesday. A booking photo was requested but was not received in time for this report.

Court records show Jennrich, who is known by several other aliases and birth dates, has at least 29 prior convictions including at least nine felonies for multiple auto theft, multiple drugs, and mail theft.


Christopher Mark Olson, 36, was arrested in St. Paul Monday and charged Tuesday after police responded about 8:45 a.m. to a “slumper” in a running vehicle at a gas station at 1125 West 7th Street.

Christopher Mark Olson (Warrant photo from Dakota County)

Police arrived and directed the suspect, later identified as Olson, to exit the vehicle. Upon a pat-down search, police felt what appeared to be a gun in Olson’s waistband. Olson tensed up when he was asked to put his hands behind his back. Police struggled with Olson as he yelled at them to “kill me” and “shoot me.” After a significant struggle, including the use of mace and tasers, he was taken into custody, charges say.

Police recovered a loaded 9mm Springfield Armory Hellcat handgun and two baggies of suspected methamphetamine, as well as other suspected narcotics.

Olson, who is prohibited from possessing firearms due to past felony convictions including domestic strangulation, has been charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition and one count of fifth-degree drug possession. Olson remained in custody Tuesday on $40,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Olson was previously convicted in December 2019 for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but his 60-month sentence was stayed in Dakota County District Court by Judge Tim D. Wermager in a downward dispositional departure. Olson was instead placed on probation for five years following 120 days in the workhouse.


A young man who went missing from a Stillwater bar early Saturday was found deceased Sunday evening. George Musser, 20, went missing from Brian’s bar in downtown Stillwater just after 2 a.m., and was apparently not dressed for the weather. Several law enforcement agencies as well as hundreds of civilians helped search the area for Musser on Saturday and Sunday. After posting a thanks to searchers around 6 p.m. Sunday, police followed up with a later post saying Musser had been found deceased by police around 7 p.m. near the 5400 block of Osgood Avenue North in Baytown Township. No specific details were offered, but police said they were continuing to investigate the case.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.