The triggerman in an ambush robbery that left a 19-year-old dead in his Bloomington apartment last April was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 32 years in prison.
Maurice Verser, 34, of Minneapolis was the sixth and final defendant to be sent to prison in the death of Corey Elder, who was shot in the neck during the robbery over a lost bottle of prescription pills and a stolen Xbox. During the robbery, Elder fought with Verser, who brought a gun and pistol-whipped Elder and his girlfriend. Elder dared him to pull the trigger, and was dead before police arrived. Verser pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Verser's five co-defendants were sentenced last week at a hearing where Elder's mother, Bobbie Alhaqq, recalled a son who loved to be around his cousins and was a gentle and kind relative with a funny and rowdy side to his personality. He worked hard at his music career, but had a Plan B to go to technical college to learn auto mechanics, she said.
All remaining co-defendant pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder. The robbery was set in motion by Briana Martinson, 21, and Megan Cater, 19, recruiting whom Martinson called "my Shakopee ghetto friends." Both received 13½-year sentences. Alec Streit, 20, who never went into Elder's apartment the night he was killed, was given a 13-year sentence. Noah Peterson, 21, had a connection with a friend he had known since middle school, 21-year-old Tarrance Murphy. Peterson promised Murphy cocaine and money if he'd help him rob someone. Murphy was living with Verser in his north Minneapolis apartment. Verser overheard the conversation. Peterson was sentenced to 13 years in prison, while Murphy received 20 years.