Two men have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the 1999 shooting death of an 18-year-old man in front of a Minneapolis grocery store, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
Earl Vang, 32, and Tou Lu Yang, 39, were indicted Friday, almost 15 years after Miguel Destiny McElroy was killed in front of a grocery store in the 2300 block of Lyndale Avenue N. on July 9, 1999. His father was also wounded in that incident.
Previously, Yang had been convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the case.
Last summer, Hennepin County District Judge Bruce Peterson ordered a new trial for Yang based on ineffective assistance of counsel, a witness’ new statement and new evidence that identified potential suspects.
“Once Judge Peterson determined that a new trial was warranted for Mr. Yang, we took it as an opportunity to continue to see justice for the victim’s family,” County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “Minneapolis police investigators worked hard to successfully test DNA that couldn’t be tested in 1999, and they and our prosecutors were able to interview witnesses who confirmed that Mr. Vang was part of the murder.”
Vang was arrested last week on second-degree murder charges. He posted a $200,000 bond and is not in custody.
According to the criminal complaint, McElroy’s brother met with two men who gave him $60 to buy marijuana. At about 8 p.m., Vang and Yang saw McElroy and his father, Curtis Campbell, near the store and demanded that McElroy get their money back from his brother.
The two men then pulled out guns and started shooting. Store security video captured the incident.
“I think the big picture [is], for families of people who are murdered, the case never ends,” Freeman said.