A St. Paul man halted his trial in Hennepin County District Court and admitted killing a man outside a Father’s Day gathering in Robbinsdale, and now a long sentence awaits him.
Zittie Taylor, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in the June 2017 death of 29-year-old Jody Tyrone Fry of Chicago.
Two prosecutors were halfway through presenting their case when Taylor agreed to plead guilty and avoid life without parole if the jurors had convicted him on the first-degree murder count.
The plea deal calls for Taylor to receive a term of 32 ½ years. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Taylor will serve more than 20 years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 19.
When a prosecutor asked him directly during the plea why he shot Fry, Taylor refused to answer.
This was the second time Taylor pleaded guilty to the murder. In September, he was set to receive a 26-year term. However, a presentence investigation showed that one of his felony convictions in Illinois would not have qualified as a felony in Minnesota, so he argued his sentence should be shorter. The judge allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea.
Fry was leaving a Father’s Day gathering on June 18, 2017, at his aunt’s home in the 5600 block of 42nd Avenue N. just before midnight when shots were fired, police said.
Fry was found dead of several gunshot wounds in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. He was shot five times in the head and face, and twice in the neck.
Police determined that Taylor had been dating a woman at the home. He had stalked her at work and would get jealous when she spoke with other men, the criminal complaint said.